1836 Classic Head Quarter Eagle. HM-8. Rarity-2. Head of 1837, Block 8. MS-66 (PCGS). <strong>Die Variety:</strong> HM-8. Obverse 6: Head of 1837 with Libertys nose, forehead and front of the fillet forming a nearly straight line. Distinguished from Obverses 3 and 5, the other Head of 1837 obverse dies of this issue, by a block 8 in the date and star 6 pointing to the lower edge of the fillet, respectively. HM-8 represents the only use of this obverse die. Reverse F: There is a weak, detached tongue in the eagles mouth and small, split berry at the end of a branch stem that varies from strong to weak depending on die state. The letter D in UNITED is slightly lower than the adjacent E. This prolific reverse die was used to strike coins of the 1836 HM-1, HM-8, extremely rare 1837 HM-2, and 1839 HM-1 varieties.<p><strong>Die Emission Sequence: </strong>The 1836 HM-8 represents the second use of Reverse F in the Classic Head quarter eagle series and was struck after coins of the 1836 HM-1 pairing. Some Proof 1836 quarter eagles are attributed to the HM-8 variety.<p><strong>Die State: </strong>Struck from the typical state of these dies, the Virginian Collection specimen shows evidence of die lapping on the reverse, where the stems to the two lowest leaf clusters and the berry are weak.<p><strong>Estimated Surviving Population for the Variety:</strong> 600 coins in all grades (per Daryl J. Haynor, 2020), or 26.8% of extant 1836 Classic Head quarter eagles.<p><strong>Strike: </strong>Bolder than usual for the issue, with emerging detail to the ear curl and a firm border at the left side of the shield. All other features are sharply to fully rendered.<p><strong>Surfaces: </strong>Glittering and satiny, showing ideal yellow-gold color blending with full luster and surrounded by attractive deeper gold at the rims. The bright, fresh fields are barely affected by scattered handling marks, none worthy of individual attention, and none that diminish the superb aesthetic appeal. A small, out of the way alloy spot at the lower reverse border serves as a useful provenance marker.<p><strong>Commentary: </strong>Described as "brilliant Uncirculated and a gem" in our (Stacks) 1978 Bareford sale, Harry Bass recognized the rarity of this coin in such fine condition. It was the best one he ever encountered, was the single finest ever seen by PCGS when offered in our 1999 Bass II sale (as PCGS MS-66), and remains the single finest graded by that service today. Within the entire Classic Head quarter eagle series, 1834 to 1839, PCGS has graded just two coins as MS-66, one as MS-66+, and one as MS-67. This is the only 1836 quarter eagle of any variety graded MS-66 or finer. Incredibly beautiful, its ranking among the very finest specimens of the issue is secure. PCGS# 764707. NGC ID: 25FU. PCGS Population (all die marriages of the issue): 1; 0 finer. There are no 1836 quarter eagles certified finer than MS-65 at NGC. From the Daryl J. Haynor Virginian Collection. Earlier ex unknown Ira Reed auction, ca. 1936-46, lot 652; Harold Bareford; our (Stacks) sale of the Harold Bareford Collection, December 1978, lot 80; Harry W. Bass, Jr.; our (Bowers and Merenas) sale of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part II, October 1999, lot 297; D. Brent Pogue Collection; our (in conjunction with Sothebys) sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part II, September 2015, lot 2063. The plate coin for the 1836 HM-8 variety in the 2020 Haynor reference on Classic Gold coinage.