Coin Specifications

Category: Early $2.50 (1796-1834)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 2,600
Catalog: KM-46
Obverse Designer: John Reich
Reverse Designer: John Reich
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9160
Weight: 4.3700g
AGW: 0.1287oz
Melt Value: $158.28 (10/23/2014)
Diameter: 18.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1824/1 $2.5 MS obverse 1824/1 $2.5 MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

Elected in 1824, John Quincy Adams was one of the most studious and capable men to hold the office of President of the United States. Contemporaries got a glimpse of his intellectual ability when, as Secretary of State under President James Monroe, Adams served as the chief architect of the Monroe Doctrine. Presented to Congress on December 2, 1823, the doctrine stipulated that the entire Western Hemisphere must remain free of European colonization and/or intervention at the risk of arousing the ire of the United States. Although the federal government could not enforce the proclamation save through Great Britain's naval supremacy, Adams' had scored a significant moral victory for the young nation. Despite the great promise and undeniable ability that he demonstrated as a member of Monroe's cabinet, Adams' presidency ranks as one of the most disappointing of the 19th century. Blunt in his presentation and callous toward potential political allies, Adams lacked the 'gentle touch' required of a successful chief executive. In 1828, disconnected from Congress and scorned by large segments of the public, Adams' one-term presidency met its ignominious end with the sweeping election of Andrew Jackson.

During the early 1790s, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton conducted extensive research into the subject of the United States' future coinage. Unfortunately, the Mint Act of 1792 did not incorporate every aspect of Hamilton's proposed decimal system. Among the gold denominations authorized, Congress envisioned the quarter eagle as an important monetary stepping stone between the silver dollar and the gold half eagle. Although the concept looked infallible on paper, in practice the quarter eagle failed to live up to its economic potential through the mid-1830s. In the decades before gold dollar production, the quarter eagle could have plugged a yawning gap in both banks' stocks and consumers' pockets. After 1808, however, public interest in the denomination reached such a low that, with the exception of 1821, the Philadelphia Mint had ignored quarter eagle production until 1824. The latter year's mintage inaugurated limited deliveries through 1834, but, like John Quincy Adams, the quarter eagle continued to fall short of its potential. Instead of fulfilling their anointed task as circulating mediums of exchange, most of the Capped Head Left quarter eagles of 1821-1834 went to the melting pot in the aftermath of the Coinage Act of 1834.

Struck in the year of Adams' election, the 1824/1 quarter eagle registered a paltry delivery of 2,600 pieces. Although this is the lowest original mintage of the series after the 1826/5, survivors of the delivery are among the more frequently encountered type representatives among today's collectors.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/27/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1824/1 $2.5 MS
Base $ 2500 3800 6000 8250 11100 11100 15900 18450 20450 24750 31000 38400 51500 82500 167500 - - - - - -
$ 12750 17200 19800 22000 26500 34000 41000 56000 90000 190000 - - - -
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Total Graded: 28
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 63

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
5/9/2007 PCGS MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2007 St. Louis, MO (CSNS) Signature Coin Auction #434, 434/Lot# 2216 $35,937.50
8/6/2009 NGC AU 53   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 399, 405/Lot# 7105 $12,047.40
1/31/2010 NGC MS 61   Goldberg January 31 - February 3, 2010 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 57/Lot# 2065 $24,150.00
11/3/2010 NGC AU 50   Stack's Bowers The November 2010 Baltimore Auction, 44/Lot# 4782 $8,050.00
6/19/2011 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131126/Lot# 25231 $3,881.25
2/9/2014 PCGS XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/09/2014, 171/Lot# 163187 $13,202.23
3/20/2014 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2014 March 20 The Collection of Donald E. Bently - Bently Foundation US Coins Signature Auction - San Francisco Session(1), 1205/Lot# 30212 $5,581.25

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1824/1 $2.5 MS
1824/1 $2.5 MS Prooflike
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