1834 Quarter Eagle - 1834 Classic $2.50 NGC AU58 CAC. This near-Uncirculated, first-year-of-type Classic Head 1834 Quarter Eagle has an above average strike with full details on the centers of the stars and the reverse rims. The dentils, which are doubled at the top of the obverse, are well struck on both sides. Original, bright mint luster is seen within the devices, especially in protected areas. The coin is a mixture of light and dark yellow gold, which indicate its originality. The surfaces are clean for the grade with no notable abrasion marks or other distractions. The CAC sticker assures that the coin is of premium quality and well within the grade range indicated.
The Classic Head quarter eagle was minted from 1834 to 1839. Designed by William Kneass, it shows a head of Liberty in profile facing left. She wears a LIBERTY inscribed headband that reveals the curly hair on top of her head, which also flows down her neck. She is surrounded by thirteen six-pointed stars, and the date is below. Dentils are around the periphery of the coin. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle with its head facing left. In its talons are olive branch and arrows, symbols of peace and preparedness. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is in an arc around the eagle, interrupted by the wing tips. The denomination, written as 2 ½ D., is below.
Because the gold coinage in circulation was being melted for its bullion value, Mint Director Samuel Moore ordered William Kneass to design quarter and half eagles with lower weight and fineness. He also told Kneass to omit the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM on the new Classic Head coins so they would be easily identified as being made with less gold content. This action prevented the older gold coins from being exported, and the public was thus induced to bring them into the Mint for recoinage.
The Classic Head motif chosen by Kneass is a copy of John Reich’s Large Cent design of 1808-1814 and the half cents of 1825-1836. The eagle design is also similar to an earlier Reich eagle designed for gold coins.
In its population report, as of August 2013, CAC had confirmed 16 1834 Classic Head Quarter Eagles at the AU58 grade level.
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