The US Mint produced the $2.5 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles from 1840 to 1907. The coins were struck at the US Mint facilities in Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Charlotte and Dahlonega. Their composition is 90% gold and 10% copper with each coin containing 0.12094 oz of gold. Close to 12 million Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles were minted. However, only a tiny amount were minted in proof condition at the Philadelphia facility. Coins from certain years of production and/or mint facilities are now very rare and therefore valuable.
The obverse side of the $2.5 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles depicts a leftward facing Lady Liberty in profile in the style of Greco-Roman sculptures. She wears a pearl crown that has "Liberty" inscribed on it. Thirteen stars appear along the outer edge of the coin, representing the 13 original colonies of the United States of America. The year of mintage is inscribed underneath Lady Liberty's portrait.
The motif on the reverse side of the $2.5 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles is derived from the Great Seal of the United States. It shows an eagle with a shield holding an olive branch and arrows. The coin's $2.5 face value (2 ½ D.) and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are engraved along the coin's edge. Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles that were minted in New Orleans (mint mark: O), San Francisco (mint mark: S), Charlotte (mint mark: C) or Dahlonega (mint mark: D) contain a mint mark just above the face value and underneath the eagle's claws. However, coins that were minted in Philadelphia don't have any mint mark.
|Gold Weight||Face Value||Diameter|
|0.12094 oz||2.5 Dollars||18 mm|
|Philadelphia||1840 - 1907|
|New Orleans||1840, 1842 - 1843, 1845 - 1847, 1850 - 1852, 1854, 1856 - 1857|
|San Francisco||1854, 1856 - 1857, 1859 - 1863, 1865 - 1873, 1875 - 1879|
|Charlotte||1840 - 1844, 1846 - 1852,
1854 - 1856, 1858, 1860
|Dahlonega||1840 - 1857, 1859|
As a result of the Coinage Act of 1792, many gold coins were introduced in the years that followed by the US Mint. The $2.5 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles were minted continuously from 1840 to 1907. The Liberty Head design that was created by the US Mint's engraver Christian Gobrecht appears on many other gold coins that were minted during this period.
A special variety of the coins was minted in 1848, known as the California or CAL issue. These 1.389 coins bear the punched-in letters CAL just above the eagle design on the reverse. The CAL coins were minted in Philadelphia as well but use gold that was mined during the 1848 California Gold Rush.
In 1908, the $2.5 Indian Head Gold Quarter Eagles replaced the $2.5 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles.
Even though production of the $2.5 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles lasted from 1840 to 1907, only the US Mint in Philadelphia produced them every year during this period (though the number of coins minted in Philadelphia in 1841 is unknown and only proofs were struck in 1863).
Annual mintage of $2.5 Liberty Gold Quarter Eagles at the various US Mint branches varied between 246 coins (San Francisco 1854) and 1,404,668 coins (Philadelphia 1853). Proof coins were exclusively minted at the Philadelphia branch of the US Mint and proof mintage varied between 20 coins and 223 coins (1901). Actual proof mintage for the years 1840 to 1858 is unknown but is estimated to have varied between 5 and 20 coins per year.
Click here to see a table with detailed mintage numbers.
Besides the 1848 CAL issue (1.389 coins), coins from several years and/or mint facilities are very rare these days for example the coins minted in Dahlonega in 1840 (3.532 coins), 1854 (1.760 coins), 1855 (1.123 coins) and 1856 (874 coins).
The coins minted in Philadelphia are hard to find for the year 1841 (unknown mintage), 1864 (2.824 coins), 1865 (1.520 coins) and 1875 (400 coins). Proof coins are even rarer to find if at all possible. Proof mintages never exceeded a maximum of 223 pieces per year. In 1863, the mint in Philadelphia only produced 30 proof coins and no 'regular' coins.