1818/5 25C MS64 PCGS. B-1, R2. Population (PCGS 17/9, NGC 22/10).
Introduced in 1815, John Reich's Capped Bust quarter did not begin yearly production until 1818. Scarcity of bullion during the War of 1812 limited the original deliveries to 69,232 coins in 1815 and 20,003 pieces in early 1816, all dated 1815. Shortly after the 1816 delivery, a fire ravaged the Philadelphia Mint and suspended production of this denomination until 1818. Therefore, no quarters dated 1816 or 1817 were ever produced and furthermore, during this time, silver depositors at the Mint preferred the more convenient half dollar denomination.
To expedite the first quarter delivery in 1818, the Mint modified a pair of previously unused 1815-dated dies, engraving a second 8 over the 5 in the date thus creating the only over date variety of this year. This over date was caused, in part, by the fire in the Philadelphia Mint in 1815. An obverse die was never used in 1815 and the final date digit was subsequently re-punched in 1818 to help curtail production costs. The coin displays the top of a 5 within the upper part of the second eight in the date, and the upright part of 5 outside of the 8 at the left.
Die State I no reverse die cracks which, according to Browning, is much rarer than the later die states that reveal reverse die cracks. A very pretty coin from the standpoint of originality, dappled crimson-russet and electric-blue toning is splashed over both the obverse and reverse. The eagle's neck feathers and the corresponding features on the obverse are a little softly defined, but the remaining devices are crisp and well centered. A near gem and an extraordinarily well preserved example of this scarce overdate.