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SERIES: Liberty Head $2 1/2 1840-1907
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1859 $2.50 New Reverse (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS64

REVERSE COMPARISON

PCGS XF45
PCGS #:
7788
Diameter:
18.00 millimeters
Designer:
Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
4.18 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
39,364
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$21,850 • NGC MS67 • 1-7-1998 • Heritage
Go To Grade
  • 30
  • 35
  • 40
  • 45
  • 45+
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  • 50+
  • 53
  • 53+
  • 55
  • 55+
  • 58
  • 58+
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 62+
  • 63
  • 63+
  • 64
  • 64+
  • 65
  • 65+
  • 66
  • 67
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 150 R-7.5 58 / 147 TIE 58 / 147 TIE
60 or Better 30 R-8.9 95 / 147 TIE 95 / 147 TIE
65 or Better 5 R-9.7 36 / 147 TIE 36 / 147 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
3 MS65 PCGS grade  
4 MS64 PCGS grade  
4 MS64 estimated grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
3 MS65 PCGS grade  
4 MS64 PCGS grade  
4 MS64 estimated grade  
4 MS64 estimated grade  
7 MS63 PCGS grade
7 MS63 PCGS grade  
7 MS63 PCGS grade  
7 MS63 PCGS grade  
David Akers (1975/88): The 1859 has the lowest mintage of any Philadelphia Mint quarter eagle of the 1850's. It is moderately scarce in all grades and really quite rare in choice uncirculated condition. In 1859, reverse dies were prepared from a new hub. The letters are smaller and more widely spaced than they are on the issues from 1840 to 1958 and the arrowheads are noticeably smaller. There are also differences in the shape of the claws, olive branch, and wing tips. This "new" design was used until the Liberty Head type was discontinued in 1907. A very interesting uniface die trial of this new reverse exists and was sold in Lester Merkin's October 1973 sale.
Gordon Wrubel: Quickfinder Notes: There is a very simple way to distinguish the New Reverse from the Old Reverse. Just look at the "O" in "OF". The New Reverse has a ROUND "O" and the Old Reverse has an OVAL "O". The branch mint issues from Dahlonega and San Francisco ( none were issued by the Charlotte Mint in 1859), all use the Old Reverse die. While very scarce, the 1861 New Reverse has has about twice as many survivors as the Old Reverse.