Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Quarters (1838-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,343,200
Catalog: KM-A64.2
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 6.22g
ASW: 0.18oz
Melt Value: $3.18 (10/26/2016)
Diameter: 24.3mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1859 25C MS obverse 1859 25C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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

1859 25C MS
Base $ 25.00 30.00 35.00 55.00 125 215 265 295 330 475 550 850 1275 1675 6300 - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 2450 - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 149
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/3/1996 NGC AU 58   Teletrade Auction 0803, 803/Lot# 375 $185.30
9/10/2006 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg September 10-13, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 37/Lot# 1529 $1,495.00
3/18/2012 NGC Details F Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/18/2012, 13/Lot# 40110 $30.00
2/3/2013 PCGS AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 737, 746/Lot# 172 $220.00
6/23/2014 NGC VF 35   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3487, 6036/Lot# 20185 $51.70
8/1/2014 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3493, 6044/Lot# 20100 $79.90
8/29/2014 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3497, 6051/Lot# 22089 $79.90
8/12/2015 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2015 August 12 - 16 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(5), 1223/Lot# 6596 $2,350.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1859 25C MS
1859 25C MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 50
Points: 418
Owner: Keith A Dagen
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