Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Quarters (1838-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 466,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 6.6800g
ASW: 0.1933oz
Melt Value: $3.36 (5/27/2017)
Diameter: 24.3mm
Edge: Reeded
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1838 SEATED 25C MS obverse 1838 SEATED 25C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

Christian Gobrecht's new design featuring Liberty Seated and looking backward over her shoulder debuted on the silver dollars of 1836, was adapted to the dimes and half dimes in 1837, and then transitioned with the old Capped Bust type on the quarter dollar in the following year. Unlike the two smaller coins, this denomination was never issued without the 13 stars that encircle Liberty. These were integral to the master die and thus did not have to be punched into each working die, as was done with the smaller coins until 1840.

The modest mintage of fewer than half a million pieces was all that could be produced during the final quarter of 1838, coinage having commenced September 29. A fair number of Mint State pieces were preserved for their novelty, but not nearly as many as were saved of the dime and half dime. Such coins are elusive, and gems are genuinely rare.

The reverse design evidently not transfer fully from hub to working die, and the eagle's claws are found with two variations, these evidently being punched or engraved after the main transfer process was completed. The distinction between "open claws" and "closed claws" is subtle and of interest only to specialists. Their relative rarity is still being determined.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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

1838 SEATED 25C MS
Base $ 35.00 45.00 60.00 190 440 800 925 1065 1250 1575 2250 2950 4850 8900 33500 69000 125000 275000 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Total Graded: 189
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/5/2006 NGC AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 90, 95/Lot# 543 $770.50
5/28/2007 NGC MS 63   Teletrade Auction 2373, 2373/Lot# 1283 $3,920.00
9/6/2009 NGC MS 63   Goldberg September 6-8, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 54/Lot# 2643 $3,335.00
8/11/2011 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(2), 1158/Lot# 3730 $3,680.00
8/15/2011 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 7312 $14,950.00
7/12/2012 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2012 July 12-15 US Coin Summer FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(1), 1172/Lot# 3528 $21,850.00
9/7/2014 PCGS XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 213412 $450.00
8/12/2015 NGC Details UNC Details  Heritage Auctions 2015 August 12 - 16 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(6), 1223/Lot# 7504 $540.50
10/31/2016 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2016 October 31 - November 2 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1241/Lot# 4010 $1,880.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1838 SEATED 25C MS
1838 SEATED 25C MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 2525
Owner: jacmitch
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