Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Quarters
1871 25C PF

Description & Analysis

The proofs of this date often display the lessened workmanship typical of 1870s proofs as compared to those of the preceding decade. Among the flaws, as made, are raised lumps from pitting of the dies and missing design elements from excessive or clumsy polishing. Also seen on some proofs is sinking of the reverse die, perhaps from improper heat treatment.

Larry Briggs identified just a single pair of dies for proofs, but Walter Breen asserted that two obverses were used. One has the overpolishing of Liberty's scroll that leaves letters BER shallow, and the other has this feature distinct. The first die has broad bases to the two numerals 1 with 71 nearly touching, while the second has narrower bases that are well separated.

Gems are very scarce for this date, with more than the usual number of proofs found lightly circulated. These may be unsold coins that were dumped into circulation by the mint at the end of the year. Cameo examples are very scarce, and Ultra Cameo proofs are great rarities.