James A. Stack's Gem 1818/5
Of the ten die pairs known for 1818 Quarters, two employed a previously unused 1815 obverse die engraved by John Reich, which was later over-dated by Robert Scot for use in 1818. Browning 1 is the first use of this over-dated obverse, and it exhibits a strong over-date with the 5 under-digit clearly visible. Browning 3 is a later use of the obverse die, now lapped to erase nearly all evidence of the 5.
The James A. Stack Collection, a provenance well known to include many of the finest known Early American coins, also included three of the finest surviving 1818/5 Capped Bust Quarters. Sold in a single owner sale by Stack’s in March, 1975, lot 12, one of the finest examples of Browning 1, is today certified by PCGS as MS66, PCGS #34980723. The Stack collection also included two exceptional examples of Browning 3, lots 13 and 14, which are also both certified by PCGS as MS66, PCGS #34980724 and #02808166.
Coins struck from both 1818/5 die pairs are regularly available in Mint State, and enough high grade, unattributed 1818 Quarters have now been attributed as Browning 3, that high grade B.3s should be priced as type coins for the series of Capped Bust, Large Size Quarters. However, examples of Browning 1 continue to bring premiums across all grades as the strongest examples of the 1818/5 overdate.
James A. Stack; Stack’s 3/1975: 12 @ $2,700 as “Brilliant Uncirculated gem”; later Bowers & Merena 8/2000: 1255 @ $17,250 as PCGS MS66