$2.50 Classic Head Gold Quarter Eagle
William Kneass designed the new $2.50 Gold Liberty Quarter Eagle. The coin depicted a more matronly Miss Liberty, facing left, surrounded by 13 six-pointed stars on the obverse with the date centered below her.
The reverse was the exact same reverse as used previously on the Capped Head Quarter Eagle design, except that the scroll, upon which “E PLURIBUS UNUM” was inscribed, was now missing. It still displayed the American eagle with upturned spread wings remains the central device while the eagle is surrounded by “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and below her is the denomination “2 ½ D.”
The new design had a reduced diameter from 20 millimeters to 18.2 millimeters. The weight of the coin was also reduced from 4.27 grams to 4.18 grams.
Prior to this issue, the fineness of US gold coins was .9167. This meant with the rising price of gold and the current gold to silver ratio increased to 16:1, meaning one could purchase 16 ounces of silver for each ounce of gold that they held. In Europe, the ratio remained at 15:1 so many contemporary US Gold coins were melted. Jackson reduced the specie fineness from .9167 to .8992.