Imagine taking the treacherous Oregon Trail in search of a better life or rushing to California in the hope of finding a bonanza. Perhaps this coin's owner moved to one of America's growing industrial heartlands, travelled across the country by railroad or even built that railroad? Who knows? The $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle VF could have done all of that and more, given it was first produced in 1840 and went on to be issued for another 67 years. What's certain is, if you buy this coin you'll have an indelible link to America's most formative years. Years which after much tumult, saw the coming together of the Union. This is when America transformed from rural backwater to industrial world power. Who knows which cowboys, pioneering women, engineers or shopkeepers have held this coin? Now you can too.
The design of the $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle or Coronet Quarter Eagle, has proven to be one of the most enduring ever used on a coin. It was the work of Christian Gobrecht, whose talent saw him progress from apprentice to Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint. However, in this instance, his work owes a debt of gratitude to the earlier designs of John Reich and William Kneass. The obverse side shows a left-facing portrait of Liberty, wearing a coronet around which her hair is wound up and back, decorated with a string of beads. Dominating the coronet is the word LIBERTY. What could be a rather severe-looking portrait is softened as some of Liberty's hair tumbles down her neck. Thirteen stars denoting the original states of the Union surround the obverse side, while the year of issue is beneath the portrait and a dentilled rim completes the design.
The reverse side shows a majestic eagle, its wings outstretched, holding an olive branch and arrows, denoting America's commitment to peace and military might. A union shield, with the requisite vertical and horizontal stripes, is shown in front of the eagle's breast. The country of issue, the "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and the value of 2½D, together encircle the reverse design, separated by two dots and interrupted by the tips of the eagle's wings. The coin's design is completed with a reeded edge.
Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles were struck in Philadelphia, Charlotte, Dahlonega, New Orleans and San Francisco. Where the mintmarks C, D, O, and S are used, they are positioned below the eagle and above the value, remember though that pieces minted in Philadelphia do not carry such a mark. Given its long-running period of production and the various mints that struck the coin, there are over 150 different issues of the Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle to collect, so it's time to get started. The Quarter Eagle was struck with a face value of $2.50, specified by the Coinage Act of 1792 as a fractional coin of the $10 eagle. The $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles were minted with a weight of 4.18 grams and a diameter of 18 millimeters. It was made out of 90p percent gold and 10 percent copper, raising the purity of the gold in which this denomination was struck. Produced between 1840 and 1907, your piece will be from a random year of issue, but always in VF or Very Fine condition.
Take a trail into the past with a Common Date $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle VF and who knows where it will lead you.
• Random year of issue • Face value $2.50 • Liberty head quarter eagle • Coronet quarter eagle • Designer: Christian Gobrecht