Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $2.50 (1840-1907)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 15,200
Catalog: KM-72
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 4.1800g
AGW: 0.1209oz
Melt Value: $145.25 (3/5/2015)
Diameter: 18mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1859 S $2.5 MS obverse 1859 S $2.5 MS reverse

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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

In November 1858, the Philadelphia Mint shipped six quarter eagle obverse dies to its branch mint in San Francisco. These were combined with leftover reverse dies from 1856 to produce the 15,200 1859-S quarter eagles. Like most S-mint issues of the era, the majority of these pieces entered circulation and suffered a catastrophic attrition rate. If the story ended there, the '59-S quarter eagle would simply take its place as yet another early western gold coin that is inconspicuous by its rarity. Modern numismatists, however, have attached importance and charm to all S-mint issues of 1859. There is little doubt that this added fame stems, in part, from the 1859-S Seated dollar issue. The first of its kind struck at the west coast facility, this issue opened an era of close trade relations with the Orient that would increase in intensity over the next several decades. While the silver dollar is an important and respected coin in its own right, we feel that it has limited, not enhanced, the respect due its quarter eagle counterpart.

Knowledgeable gold collectors realize that this issue is one of the most underrated in the entire gold series.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/10/2014

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

1859 S $2.5 MS
Base $ 390 450 525 600 1175 1175 2050 2275 2750 3750 6150 6500 9800 19500 - - - - - - -
$ 1375 2250 2450 3050 4100 6400 7750 11500 25000 - - - - -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 85
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 65

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
3/4/1995 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 1995 Atlanta Signature Sale #133, 133/Lot# 5859 $13,200.00
10/4/2007 NGC AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 183, 189/Lot# 6821 $2,530.00
5/25/2008 NGC AU 58   Goldberg May 25-27, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 47/Lot# 4568 $2,990.00
11/3/2010 NGC AU 55   Stack's Bowers The November 2010 Baltimore Auction, 44/Lot# 4882 $2,415.00
1/5/2011 PCGS VG 10   Heritage Auctions 2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(7), 1151/Lot# 12375 $488.75
7/10/2011 PCGS VG 10   Teletrade Auction 3098, 3098/Lot# 2652 $460.00
5/30/2012 NGC VF 35   Heritage Auctions 2012 May 30- June 3 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(5), 1171/Lot# 10425 $661.25
5/30/2012 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2012 May 30- June 3 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(3), 1171/Lot# 4816 $2,012.50
10/6/2013 PCGS VF 30   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/06/2013, 95/Lot# 142539 $594.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1859 S $2.5 MS
1859 S $2.5 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 3396
Owner: Desert Gold
View the Registry Image Gallery

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