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SERIES: Classic Head $2 1/2 1834-1839
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1834 $2.50 Classic (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS65+

PCGS MS65+

PCGS MS65
PCGS #:
7692
Diameter:
17.50 millimeters
Designer:
William Kneass
Weight:
4.18 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
112,234
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$89,125 • PCGS MS65 • 10-1-2008 • Stack's
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 1,750 R-4.7 11 / 11 11 / 11
60 or Better 250 R-6.6 11 / 11 11 / 11
65 or Better 15 R-9.3 6 / 11 6 / 11
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
2 MS65+ PCGS grade

High Desert Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 MS65+ PCGS grade

Oliver Jung Collection - American Numismatic Rarities 7/2004:87 - D. Brent Pogue Collection

4 MS65 PCGS grade

John Albanese - Scott Travers - Stack's 6/2007:1638 - Stack's 10/2008:1152 - Larry Hanks (as agent?) - D. Brent Pogue Collection

4 MS65 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
2 MS65+ PCGS grade

High Desert Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 MS65+ PCGS grade

Oliver Jung Collection - American Numismatic Rarities 7/2004:87 - D. Brent Pogue Collection

4 MS65 PCGS grade

John Albanese - Scott Travers - Stack's 6/2007:1638 - Stack's 10/2008:1152 - Larry Hanks (as agent?) - D. Brent Pogue Collection

4 MS65 PCGS grade  
4 MS65 PCGS grade  
4 MS65 PCGS grade  
4 MS65 estimated grade  
9 MS64 PCGS grade
9 MS64 PCGS grade

Ron Guth: In 1834, Mint officials changed the design on the Quarter Eagles to comply with the new Coinage Act of June 28, 1834, which law reduced the weight of the Quarter Eagles to prevent melting.  On the obverse, Liberty no longer wore a cap; rather the design was a copy of that seen on Classic Head Half Cents of 1809-1836 and Large Cents of 1808-1814.

1834 Quarter Eagles are found with two, slightly different obverse designs.  The first, called "Small Head" by Water Breen and others, has tight curls that appear in a near-horizontal arrangement at the back of Liberty's head.  The second, called "Large Head" or "Booby Head" by Breen, has looser curls with deep indents between the curls.  Breen claimed six different reverse varieties of the Large Head alone, but subsequent researchers have identified only four different reverse dies for both types combined (either Breen was mistaken or there are some varieties awaiting re-discovery) and only four different die combinations in total.

Numerous Mint State 1834 Classic Head Quarter Eagles exist, but most are MS61 to MS64.  Gems are very rare, and the finest example appears to be a single PCGS MS66.


David Akers (1975/88): There are actually two distinct vareties of 1834 No Motto quarter eagles. The first has a small head and can be distinguished from the large head variety by the fact that it has tight curls at the top of the head and at the back of the head. In particular, the curls at the back of the head form a nearly straight vertical line. On the other hand, the curls on the large head variety are much more pronounced, and there is a distinct break in the curls at the back of the head.

As a date, this is one of the two most common of this type (the 1836 is the other), and a fairly sizable number of choice examples exist, many of them fully proof-like.