Designed by Chief Engraver Christian Gobrecht, the Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle was intended to have a uniform look with the recently released $10 Gold Eagle and its fractional counterpart the $5 half eagle. The $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles were struck out of 90 percent gold and 10 percent copper with a weight of 4.18 grams and a diameter of 18 millimeters, upping the standards of this denomination.
The obverse side features a left-facing Lady Liberty portrait, adorned with a coronet displaying the word LIBERTY, around which her hair is curled up and back. So, you can understand why it is sometimes referred to as the Coronet Quarter Eagle. Liberty's loose bun is decorated with a string of beads and tendrils have escaped, falling down her neck, softening the look. The Liberty portrait is surrounded by 13 six-pointed stars representing the original colonies of the United States, 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 wings displayed so wide they almost touch the rim of the coin. 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 and its 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 room. In fact, the value barely fits on the coin, shown as it is in the abbreviated form of 2½D. The country of origin, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA encircles the majority of the reverse side, broken only by the eagle's wing tips, the value and two large dots. The reverse design, in particular, owes much to the earlier work of John Reich, first used over 30 years before.
Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles were produced at the Philadelphia, Charlotte, Dahlonega, New Orleans and San Francisco mints, so some pieces will carry the mintmarks C, D, O, and S. These should be placed below the eagle, but above the value. Remember, those coins from Philadelphia don't carry such a mark. The slight deviation from this is the scarce 1848 CAL. What's that I hear you ask? It's a coin struck in Philadelphia using gold recently mined in California, following the discovery at Sutter's Mill, hence the lettering "CAL."Unusually, this lettering is punched above the eagle and just below the "TES" of the word STATES. The gold was shipped all the way to the Mint by the Military Governor of California, Col. R.B. Mason and a mere 1,389 pieces were produced, making them extremely scarce and an interesting footnote to the history of the Liberty head quarter eagle. Your coin, however, will be a standard $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle from a random and common year of issue, with a Mint State of 64, denoting its quality. So in keeping with an MS64 coin, yours will have a good overall average luster and an even strike.
From the gold mines of the West to the skyscrapers of Chicago or New York, and the railroads in between, this coin could have been there. Now it can be yours, a Common Date $2.50 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagle MS64. Snap it up today and become a part of this coin's fascinating history.
• Mint State 64 • Random year of issue • Face value $2.50 • Liberty head quarter eagle • Coronet quarter eagle • Designer: Christian Gobrecht