Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Quarters
1859 25C PF

Description & Analysis

The first public offering of proof coins by the U. S. Mint in 1858 met with considerable success, and it was anticipated that the demand would grow from there. Unfortunately, the Mint greatly overestimated this rate of growth, and the majority of these coins were melted as unsold at the end of the year. Despite this reduced population, 1859 proof quarter dollars are not rare, except in higher grades. A fair number have been certified as Cameo, too.

All proofs of this date were coined from dies of the Type 1 Obverse on which the third raised shield stripe from the right is just barely evident above Liberty's banner. Two such obverse dies were employed, the first paired with a Type 1 Reverse on which the eagle's eyeball is concave, while the other is paired with a Type 2 reverse having a convex eyeball. Walter Breen asserted that the Type 2 Obverse was also used for proofs, but this is refuted in Larry Briggs' book.