$2.5 Liberty Quarter Eagle
$2.50 Liberty Head Gold Quarter Eagle
The Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Quarter Eagle was designed by Christian Gobrecht, who was now the Chief Engraver of the US Mint in 1840. The coins were struck in .900 Fine Gold and were minted continuously between 1840 and until the end of the series in 1907. This design is also known as the “Coronet Head” as Miss Liberty appears to wear a Coronet, a small crown.
Gobrecht’s design has Miss Liberty facing left. Her features seem younger than those of her predecessor, but like her, she is surrounded by 13 six-pointed stars. The current date is positioned below Liberty’s bust. The reverse is unchanged in all respects except that on the Classic Head predecessor any mintmark appeared above the date on the obverse. The change on the Liberty Head type is that the mintmark, if any, appears below the eagle and above the denomination, now on the reverse of the coin.
In 1848, 230 ounces of raw gold were sent by Colonel Mason, the military governor of California to the Secretary of War. This gold was then delivered to the US Mint in Philadelphia and struck as Quarter Eagle gold coins. But what is notable is that the coins were struck with a distinguishing mark - CAL. was punched above the eagle on the reverse side of the coin. Only 1,389 of these coins were minted and they are very highly sought after by collectors.
The 1850s saw the first mintages in excess of One Million coins. But they also struck some additional rarities in this series. The 1854-S coin, the very first $2.50 Gold coin struck at the San Francisco Mint only had 246 coins struck and is a true rarity.