Kim Ludwig of David Lawrence Rare Coins forwarded the following press release about an interesting variety. -Editor In July of 2008 Ken Potter wrote an extensive and lavishly illustrated article reporting on the discovery of a most interesting and eye catching die variety found on an 1857 Liberty Seated Quarter dollar. It has since been embraced by the numismatic community and dubbed the “Smoking Liberty” variety.
Potter reported the variety was first spotted by collector John O’Hare who showed it to friend and fellow collector, Saverio Barbieri, in the early part of 2000.
So smitten by the variety was Barbieri he began an eight‐year search for more specimens. After searching an estimated 30,000+ Liberty Seated quarters of that date on eBay and shows across the country Barbieri found a total of 28 specimens bringing the known population to 29 pieces.
Barbieri approached DGS senior grader and well known variety specialist, Mike Ellis, if DGS was willing to attribute the coin as the “Smoking Liberty” variety. Having seen and attributed one already at DGS, Ellis examined all 28 of Barbieri’s specimens agreeing to place the attribution on the holder for the raw specimens submitted. Ellis says he has seen 29 different specimens..
This is an interesting variety that easily lends itself to the cute name. Thanks to Ken and Saverio for bringing it to the attention of the numismatic community. Perhaps in time it will make its way into the variety guide books. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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