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Quarters

Seated Liberty Quarters
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United States Quarters

The history of the United States quarter coin, particularly the twenty-five cent quarter, is a fascinating journey that takes us through different eras of American history and coinage. The quarter, as we know it today, has undergone significant design changes and historical events, all of which have contributed to its rich and enduring legacy.

The story of the United States quarter coin begins in the late 18th century. In 1796, it made its debut as part of the Coinage Act of 1792, signed into law by the first President of the United States, George Washington. This landmark legislation established the United States Mint and authorized the production of various denominations of coins, including the quarter dollar.

The very first quarters minted in 1796 featured a design that would be referred to as the Draped Bust type. On the obverse side, these early quarters showcased an elegant portrayal of Liberty, who was facing right. Liberty’s depiction included flowing hair and a small cap, symbolizing the spirit of freedom. The reverse side displayed a majestic eagle with outstretched wings, perched upon an olive branch and clutching arrows in its talons, all surrounded by a wreath. These early quarters were composed of a mixture of 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper, and they had a diameter of 27 millimeters, bearing the promise of a young nation.

However, coinage design is an ever-evolving art, and in 1804, the quarter underwent a transformation. The Capped Bust type was introduced, featuring a new representation of Liberty. This time, Liberty was depicted wearing a cap and facing to the left. The reverse design still retained the eagle but was updated with a larger, more impressive eagle, and a modified wreath.