Quarter Eagle - Despite its low mintage of 4,434, the
quarter eagle is relatively easy to find, with
“relatively” being the operative word. Although
most pieces are softly struck in their centers, they usually
found in high grades. For the obverse a new die was made.
The reverse still used the same die that was used previously
from 1821. Later in the year a new reverse die was made.
The reuse of dies shows the necessary frugality of the Mint
officials and the difficulty encountered to obtain good
Robert Scot designed the coin. It shows
a capped head of Liberty facing left. She is encircled with
thirteen six-pointed stars; the date is below the truncation.
LIBERTY is inscribed on the headband of her Phrygian cap.
Her hair falls beneath her cap in luxurious curls. The reverse
is similar to the previous design with a heraldic eagle
facing left. Its mouth is opened and its wings are outstretched.
However, its feathers are more even and less ragged than
on the previous type. A banner above its head bears the
motto E PLUIBUS UNUM. In its claws it holds the arrows and
olive branch, symbols of preparedness and peace. Below the
eagle is the denomination written 2 ½ D. The whole
is surrounded by the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
interrupted by the wing tips. Dentils are at the periphery
of both sides and the edge is reeded.
Unlike the previous issues in the series,
three die pairs were used in 1825 for the quarter eagle.
The first had a new obverse die with the 5 of the date with
a thin, pointed top. It is even with the top and bottom
of the 2. The left base of the 1 is between dentils, of
which the coin has 114. The reverse is the same as the 1821
issue. It has large letters. The fraction is distant with
the numerator and denominator away from the fraction bar.
The D of the denomination is large. This variety, known
as BD-1, has an R6+ rarity rating with 12 to 15 known to
The second die pair has a new obverse with
a recut 5 with blunt serif at its top. Its top and bottom
are below the top and bottom of the 2. The left base of
the 1 is nearly over the left edge of a dentil, of which
there are 105. The reverse is the same as the 1821 issue.
It has large letters. The fraction is distant with the numerator
and denominator away from the fraction bar. The D of the
denomination is large. The variety is known as BD-2, and
it has an R4+ rarity rating with 80 to 100 pieces known.
The third die pair uses the same obverse
die as the previous variety. The reverse, however, is different.
It uses small letters with a normal A and an M that is larger
than the previous variety. On the fraction, the 1 nearly
touches the bar, and the 2 touches it. The fraction is almost
under the tip of the arrow feather. The D of the denomination
is normal sized, but it is larger than the D in UNITED.
Known as the BD-3 variety, it has an R6+ rarity rating with
12 to 15 pieces known.
The grading services do not distinguish
these issues by die variety. In its population report, PCGS
shows 50 with 23 in Mint State, and NGC has 48 with 26 in
Mint State. These numbers do not account for resubmissions
Weight: 4.37 grams
Composition: .9167 gold, .0833 silver and copper
Diameter: approximately 20 millimeters