Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Quarters (1838-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,343,200
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 6.2200g
ASW: 0.1800oz
Melt Value: $3.21 (1/24/2020)
Diameter: 24.3mm
Edge: Reeded
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1859 25C MS obverse 1859 25C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Not as common in Mint State as the P-Mint quarters of 1856-58, the 1859(P) issue remains available in modest numbers. Worn examples are far more plentiful.

Mintages of silver coins at the Philadelphia Mint declined drastically from 1858 to 1859. This reflected the end of Mint Director Snowden's policy of issuing coins in exchange for silver deposits, a practice that ran contrary to the authorizing act of 1853 lowering the coins' weights. It also resulted from a glut of silver coins in commerce that was due to Snowden's action. As these coins had a legal tender limit of five dollars per transaction and could be refused by banks and businesses in amounts over that figure, holders of large numbers of fractional silver coins were compelled to sell them to bullion brokers at a discount.

After bearing very large date numerals since 1847, the quarter dollar appeared this year with a much smaller date punch that would have been more appropriate to the dime or even half dime. This fashion lasted through 1863, after which time the dates became bigger again, but never as big as those of 1847-58.

New master hubs were prepared for both sides of the quarter dollar during 1859's production. Though there were several subtle changes made to the obverse, the new hub is most easily distinguished by having six raised vertical lines above Liberty's banner, whereas the old hub had just four lines. The new reverse features a raised, convex eyeball to the eagle, while the old hub utilized just a semicircle to represent this detail. In addition, the arrowheads are more slender on the new hub. Dies from these four hubs were used in various combinations for 1859(P) quarters, with the rarest combination being Type 2 obverse and reverse. Collectors have yet to warm to these hub variations, and they don't seem to bring a premium.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/30/2019

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

1859 25C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 30.00 37.00 45.00 65.00 120 215 265 295 340 455 585 850 1280 1680 6300 9375 18200 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 2450 - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 167
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 66

The chart showing G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 1/21/2020 1859 25C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-12-157101010122711012132971----167
-----------------------
-----------------------
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Total-12-157101010122711012132971----167
 -1%1%-9%4%6%6%6%7%16%1%6%7%8%17%4%1%---- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1859 25C MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base89102119135190342489615796901104411311221168720122642418753679528152202450939754
93107124153240391531675831948107311611376179522223157458067541142518316295900
00000053167583194810731161137617952222315745806754114251831600
00000057373586699611021191153119032432367249738141133222141200
1859 25C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base819410612317531745657574784798310661152159919112519401351589209147682386438830
8598111140222363495632780892101010941301170321133017439465081106217800288520
00000049563278089210101094130117032113301743946508110621780000
00000053568981393710381123145018072316351547767858129152083200
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