Capped Bust Quarter

Posted by on March 3, 2012

Coin Weight (g) Composition Silver Melt Value Full Melt Value
Capped (1815, 1818-1825, 1828, 1831-1838) 6.74 89% silver, 10% copper
1815 Capped Bust Quarter w/motto

1815 Capped Bust Quarter w/motto

The Capped Bust Quarter was designed by German emigrant John Reich.  This silver coin was minted as needed from 1815 to 1838, the Spanish ‘2 reales’ (two-bits) was still in use and containing less silver United States quarters were often hoarded.  1831 saw the adaption of the Collar Die technique to the quarter striking press which allowed a singled strike for the faces of the silver coins and the reeded edge.  This created two Types of silver quarters in this series: the Small Size Capped Bust Quarters; “With Moto” or “Scroll on Reverse” from 1815 to 1828 and the Large Size Capped Bust Quarter; “No Moto” or “No Scroll on Reverse” from 1831 to 1838.  Proof strikes started in 1820, only five to ten were usually struck for each year of production, except in 1827 when about 35 were coined, however 1827 was the smallest business strike with only 4,000 making it the key date.  There are a few variations for some of the years.

ESTATE FIND 1815 CAPPED BUST QUARTER DOLLAR!!! #C3731
ESTATE FIND 1815 CAPPED BUST QUARTER DOLLAR!!! #C3731
$90.00
Time Remaining: 8h 25m
1820  CAPPED BUST
1820 CAPPED BUST "SILVER" 25 CENTS - Early date, Hard to Find - #A7799
$124.99
Time Remaining: 8h 48m
1834 ESTATE FIND CAPPED BUST QUARTER DOLLAR!! #C0213
1834 ESTATE FIND CAPPED BUST QUARTER DOLLAR!! #C0213
$80.00
Time Remaining: 12h 3m
1821  Bust Quarter graded by PCGS VG 10;  starting bid one cent
1821 Bust Quarter graded by PCGS VG 10; starting bid one cent
$143.59 (56 Bids)
Time Remaining: 13h 26m
1824 Capped Bust United States Half Dollar Coin! Nice Shape!
1824 Capped Bust United States Half Dollar Coin! Nice Shape!
$16.38 (7 Bids)
Time Remaining: 15h 39m
1831 50c Capped Bust Half Dollar
1831 50c Capped Bust Half Dollar
$95.00
Time Remaining: 17h 46m
1828 Capped Bust Half Dollar
1828 Capped Bust Half Dollar
$135.00
Time Remaining: 17h 46m
Circulated, Rare 1836 Capped Bust US Quarter (25 C.) - 90% Silver
Circulated, Rare 1836 Capped Bust US Quarter (25 C.) - 90% Silver
$100.00
Time Remaining: 1d 5h 3m
1834 Capped Bust 25c Quarter ** Better Date Coin **
1834 Capped Bust 25c Quarter ** Better Date Coin **
$41.00 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 5h 35m

No silver quarters were coined in 1829 or 1830.  The new “close collar” also brought a size change from original size of 29 millimeters to 27 millimeters.  In 1836, the Congress passed a coin act and the percentage of silver was raised; from 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper to 90% silver and 10% copper.  This also changed the weight of the 1837 and 1838 Capped Bust Quarter from 6.74 grams to 6.70 grams and the diameters from 27 millimeters to 24.3 millimeters.

1833 Capped Bust Quarter w/out motto obverse

1833 Capped Bust Quarter w/out motto obverse

The obverse of the Capped Bust Quarter is the same for the entire series.  Liberty’s bust portrait is in the center of the coin facing left.  She has long wavy hair and is wearing a cap with “LIBERTY” on its band.  The date is under her at the rim of the coin.  There are a total of thirteen stars encircling her along the rim; seven on the left and six on the right.

The reverse of this series has a bald eagle with wing spread and a national shield on its breast. The eagle’s left talon clutches an olive branch, and three arrows in its right.  Directly below is “25 C.” at the base of the coin and around the top half, encircling the eagle along the rim is “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”.  Both types of the Capped Bust Quarter have all these on their reverse.  It had been tradition to have the motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” on United States currency, and it is on the silver quarters struck between 1815 and 1828 on a banner arching under the legend and above the eagle.

1833 Capped Bust Quarter w/out motto reverse

1833 Capped Bust Quarter w/out motto reverse

However when the ‘opened collar’ was introduced; the coin and design was reduced in size the Mint Director, Samuel Moore, ordered the Mint Engraver, William Kneas, to exclude the motto.   When Moore was confronted by the Treasury officers who wanted to keep the motto, Moore reasoned with them.  He explained that the motto translates as “one made up from many” and the “United States” was already above it in the old design therefore the motto is redundant.  Moore’s explanation stuck and the motto, “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, would not appear again until Charles Barber’s redesign in 1892.

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