Description and Analysis
Seated Liberty Quarters
1868 S 25C MS
Description & Analysis
San Francisco coinage of quarter dollars exactly doubled that of 1867, and this issue is thus more often seen. Well worn examples are scarce but not rare. Coins grading XF and higher, however, are indeed rare, with gems all but unknown. Most have weak denticles, particularly on the reverse. This oddity is seen on the S-Mint halves of this period, too, and it clearly reflects poor finishing of the dies.
The small, wormlike mintmark used since adoption of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST required a new shipment of reverse dies continued into 1868. Indeed, this style of mintmark became the standard for a San Francisco Mint quarters 1866-73. The raised line within its lower loop seen on 1866-67 quarters is not found on 1868-S pieces. This reveals that a different die was used this year, though it was clearly from the same batch as the other.