Variety 1 - Large Diameter (1815-1828):
Designer: John Reich. Weight: 6.74 grams. Composition: .8924
silver, .1076 copper. Approx diameter: 27 mm. Reeded edge.
Variety 2 - Reduced Diameter (1831-1838),
Motto Removed: Designer: William Kneass. Weight:
6.74 grams. Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper. Approx
Diameter: 24.3 mm. Reeded Edge. Mints: Philadelphia. Changed
to 6.68 grams, .900 fine in 1837.
The Capped Bust Quarter was designed by John Reich. It is
similar to his Capped Bust half dollar. The quarter shows
a plump, capped head of Liberty in profile facing left.
She wears a LIBERTY inscribed headband. Seven six-pointed
stars are to the left and six are to the right with the
date below. The reverse shows the heraldic eagle looking
left with wings raised. Above the eagle, on a banner, is
the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. The required inscription UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the coin, and the denomination
written as 25 C. is below.
John Reich, a skilled engraver, was born
in Bavaria and came to the United States around 1800. In
order to finance his passage, he sold himself into servitude.
President Thomas Jefferson recommended that Reich be hired
as an engraver at the Mint in 1801. When he was serving
in Washington’s Cabinet, Jefferson was in charge of the
Mint as Secretary of State. While in France, Jefferson developed
a working knowledge of the minting process.
Reich was hired for other duties, but he
eventually became an engraver. He had a superb eye for the
complicated aesthetics of coin engraving. At this time his
freedom was purchased by an unknown mint official. Although
Chief Engraver Robert Scot designed most of the coins at
the mint since 1794, it was said that Reich had much more
talent and ability than Scot.