It's the year the world's longest railroad opened from Wilmington to Weldon and in which intrepid Captain Charles Wilkes circumnavigated Antarctica. It's 1840 and the first time this coin, a $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle, makes an appearance. It's a coin of extraordinary longevity and boasts the longest running design used on a U.S. coin. Its final year saw the first electric ball drop in Times Square to celebrate New Year; the Great White Fleet set off to circumnavigate the globe and Pike Place market open in Seattle.
And the years in between? Well, America grew from a rural backwater to a leader of industry. From the Civil War to the Reconstruction Era; from the Gilded Age to the beginning of the Progressive Era; this coin was struck throughout it all and today you can become a part of that remarkable history. Who's held this coin before you? It could have been a pioneer, prospector, a captain of industry or a legend of the Old West and now it could be yours.
The obverse design revolves around a left-facing Lady Liberty portrait adorned with a coronet, so you can understand why it's sometimes called the Coronet Quarter Eagle. Liberty's loose bun is decorated with a string of beads and some tendrils of her hair have escaped, falling down her neck, softening the portrait's look. Below the portrait is the year of issue and your order will be fulfilled with a random year. Surrounding the obverse design are 13 six-pointed stars symbolizing the original States of the Union, around which is a dentilled rim, while the edge of the coin is reeded.
The reverse side features an eagle, looking to its right, with its wings displayed so wide they almost touch the coin's rim. In front of the eagle is a Union shield, while the majestic bird holds arrows and an olive branch, denoting America's ability to defend itself as well as a commitment to peace. It's a design which owes a great deal to the Great Seal of the United States, though it doesn't include the famous motto of "In God we trust." Perhaps there simply wasn't enough space. In fact, the value barely fits on the coin, shown as it is in a truncated form as "2½D." The country of issue, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds most of the reverse design, broken only by the eagle's wing tips, the value and two large dots. The reverse side in particular is indebted to the earlier work of John Reich, used over 30 years earlier.
Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles were struck at several branches of the U.S. Mint including Philadelphia, New Orleans, Charlotte, Dahlonega and San Francisco. Where a mint mark exists, you'll see it placed just below the eagle on the reverse side, though Philadelphia pieces aren't marked. Given its long-running circulation; and the various mints that struck the coin, there are over 150 different issues of the Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle to collect, so secure this coin to improve your collection today.
The quarter eagle was struck with a face value of $2.50 as set out in the Coinage Act of 1792 and represents a fractional coin of the more valuable $10 Eagle. The $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles were struck with a weight of 4.18 grams, a diameter of 18 millimeter, metals content of 90 percent gold and 10 percent copper, thus improving the quality of gold in which this denomination was minted. Produced between 1840 and 1907, your piece will be from a random year of issue, always in XF or Extremely Fine condition, so you can be sure of its quality. Secure yourself a Common Date $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle XF and take a trip down the timeline of American history. Who knows who's treasured this coin before you?
• XF condition • Random year of issue • Face value $2.50 • Liberty head quarter eagle • Coronet quarter eagle • Designer: Christian Gobrecht