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United States: 1878S $2.50 Gold Liberty Quarter Eagle

Started by Quant.Geek, March 24, 2013, 03:25:18 PM

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Quant.Geek

One of my recent purchases as I get back to my "American" roots  :D
Information as provided by Krause/NumisMaster:

United States: 1878S $2.50 Gold Liberty Quarter Eagle

Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 178,000
Catalog: KM-72
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 4.1800g
AGW: 0.1209oz
Diameter: 18mm
Edge: Reeded

A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Alan Glasser

And a beautiful addition it IS, Quant.Geek! Congrats!!!

One of the things I used to really enjoy when I was avidly (or rabidly) collecting U.S. type coins was to look for varieties. I used to spend hours searching through my very limited library of reference books reading about die variations and whatnot. It was great fun. (Early dollars and half dollars gave me endless hours of fun and I got fairly good at it...but slow...and then expanded to the early quarters dimes and 1/2 dimes.) So I looked up the 1878s quarter eagle to see if there were any reported "varieties" for that date and mintmark. Well, NGC says that there ane none, but Walter Breen in his "Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" did list 2 "types" for the date. One has the normal S mintmark and the other has a "small squat" mintmark. Well, I have nothing to compare the 2 types to as I can not find a "small squat" listing so I don't know which variety you have. Either way, it's a terrific coin and one that you will be proud of for many years! Well done...and I'm glad there are other U.S. type addicts here on the board. Keep up the great work!

I am going to do a bit of investigating to see if I can find anything else out about the 1878s mintmart varieties. It's just fun to know "why". If I learn anything, I'll get back to you.

Alan

Quant.Geek

Thanks for the complement Alan.  One of the nice things about American Numismatics is that varieties are well documented.  As you said, you can spend a lifetime putting together a collection on just one type of coin with the endless varieties that exists.  The Morgan Dollar is a perfect example of the various varieties that exists.  I, personally, don't have the patience or the pocketbook to collect in that manner.  That is why I normally type collect.  I try to get good, clean examples of the coins in my portfolio, but I do have to admit, it is quite difficult with Indian coins. 

In regards to the Quarter Eagle, there seems to be several varieties in regards to the mintmark in this coin.  Apparently, since the mintmark was hand-punched, the location of the mintmark seems to vary.  On my coin, the mintmark resides just below the arrow's fletching/nock.  However, in the attached picture, the mintmark resides between the fletching of the arrow and the olive branch:


A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Alan Glasser

Hello again, Quant.Geek.

I certainly can't afford "variety collecting" either...though looking at photos of "unattributed" coins and determining the varieties used to be a real passion...especially with U.S.A. early type. Capped Bust Half Dollars have a major following of their own and we had many spirited debates here on the NGC board determining varieties back when I was RI Al before moving to Massachusetts. I had fun determining the varieties on my coins and joining in on the debates on "which variety is it" for photos posted here on the board.

The "Small Squat" S on the 1878's $2.50 remains a mystery. I have done some checking and can't find a photo...though it is clearly referenced in Breen. No matter...you have a terrific coin regardless. Best of luck in the ongoing search for new additions. Careful...it gets very addictive!

Alan