Draped Bust Quarter

Posted by on March 2, 2012

Coin Weight (g) Composition Silver Melt Value Full Melt Value
Draped (1796, 1804-1807) 6.74 89% silver, 10% copper
BS 1807drapedquarterrev 300x148 Draped Bust Quarter

1807 Draped Bust Quarter herald eagle reverse

The Draped Bust Quarter is the first United States quarter and was struck in 1796 (6,146) with a “Small Eagle” reverse (sometimes called the “Plain Eagle”) and then in 1804 thru 1807 (554,899 were struck) with a “Heraldic Eagle” reverse.  Both types of this silver coin are 27.5 millimeters in diameter and weigh 6.74 grams of 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper.  Both types have a reeded edge, the same draped bust of Liberty obverse and were designed by Robert Scot.

The obverse of the Draped Bust Quarter is based on a drawing of Liberty by Gilbert Stuart.  Liberty is facing left with long hair loosely tied with a bow.  The date is centered under her with “LIBERTY” arching above her along the rim separating the stars on either of the coin.

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SC Draped bust quarter small eagle OBV 45345 Draped Bust Quarter

Draped Bust Quarter smal eagle obverse

The 1796 obverse has fifteen stars, one for every state, seven encircling along the rim left of Liberty and eight along the right rim.  The 1796 has two different variations: Browning 1; the “T” and “Y” do not touch, the date isn’t evenly spaced with the “7” & “9” close and the “6” is lower than in the Browning 2; (which is very scarce) where the “T” and “Y” do touch and the date is evenly spaced, the “6” is higher, the lowest right star almost touches Liberty’s robe, and the top hairs almost touch the “ER”.  Almost the entire 6,146 struck are of the Browning 1 variation.

The Draped Bust Quarter strikes from 1804 to 1807 reflect the decision to restrict the number of stars to thirteen stars commemorating the original states.  These have six stars encircling the left side of the silver coin and seven on the right thirteen stars.  The 1806 has a variation “1806/5” with a date overstrike this is fairly common amongst the 206,124 minted.  (A lot of research has been going into examining older United States coins there are numerous variations that will not be covered here but there are specialty books that examine and explain these.) The 1804 is a key date with only 6,738 silver quarters minted.  1805 had 121,394 silver coins minted, and 1807 had 220,643.

SC Draped bust quarter small eagle REV 234 Draped Bust Quarter

Draped Bust Quarter small eagle reverse

The reverse of the 1796 Draped Bust Quarter has the Small Eagle design which consists of an eagle with wings spread standing on a cloud.  A wreath composed of a palm branch on the left and an olive branch on the right tied together with a bow at the bottom surrounds the eagle.  Around the wreath and the rim is “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”.  There is no denomination indicated on the 1796 US quarter.

The silver quarters struck from 1804 to 1807 have the Herald Eagle.  The bald eagle has wings spread and the national shield on its chest.  The left talon has an olive branch and the right has thirteen arrows.  The eagle has a banner in its beak with “E PLUNIBUS UMUN”.  Above the eagle and between its wings thirteen stars are evenly dispersed.  Above these stars is an arch of clouds.  Around almost all of the eagle and rim of the coin there is “UNITED STATES OF AMMERICA” broken up by the eagle’s wing tips.  The very bottom split by the eagle’s tail is “25 C.”

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