With a mintage of just 874 coins, the 1856-D Liberty Quarter Eagle is the lowest mintage gold coin ever produced by the Dahlonega Mint. It also ranks as the rarest coin of the series from all of the southern mints (Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans).
Similar to many of the coins struck at the southern mints, this issue was poorly produced and eye appeal is usually lacking. The coins are extremely difficult to grade due to striking softness and the somewhat crude appearance of most pieces.
Approximately 50 examples of the 1856-D Quarter Eagle are believed to exist, and these are always in demand. Some pieces have graded About Uncirculated, while a handful have even received uncirculated grades. The finest known piece graded NGC MS 61 sold for $71,875 in April 2006.
Most pieces that are available at auction are in circulated grades and frequently exhibit problems such as damage or cleaning. However, because of their rarity, even those pieces are always in demand, and examples are quickly traded in the current market.