1862 Quarter Eagle (1862 $2.50) NGC MS62. Civil War Quarter Eagle. A superb strike and proof-like surfaces characterize this Civil War dated 1862 Quarter Eagle. The strike shows every detail of the design on both sides of the coin. In fact, it is comparable to a proof strike. The frosted devices contrast with the somewhat darker fields to produce a pleasant, proof-like effect. NGC has assigned a grade of MS62; however, because of the quality of the surfaces the coin could have easily been graded one or two points higher.
Christian Gobrecht designed the Liberty Head Quarter Eagle. It was minted from 1840 to 1907, the longest span of any coinage series without any major design modification. In that period of time 11,921,171 Liberty Head Quarter Eagles were minted.
Gobrecht used the coronet motif for his design. It shows a profile of Liberty facing left. Her hair is tied in the back with beads as two curls flow down her neck. On the coronet the word LIBERTY is inscribed. She is surrounded by thirteen six-pointed stars and the date, which is below the truncation. At the periphery of the coin are dentils on both sides of the coin. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle with wings outstretched looking to the left. In its talons it holds the olive branch and arrows, symbols of peace and preparedness. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is in an arc around the eagle, interrupted by the wing tips. The denomination written as 2 ½ D. is below, separated from the inscription by dots.
The 1862 quarter eagle had an original mintage of 98,508. In its population report, NGC shows 12 certified in MS62 with 5 better. PCGS has 9 with 11 better. With the popular appeal of authentic Civil War items as a result of the 150th anniversary and because of its low population numbers, this coin will no doubt see increased attention from dealers, investors and collectors.