Quarters : Capped Bust Quarter

Obverse of 1833 Quarter Dollar Reverse of 1833 Quarter Dollar

Q. David Bowers (edited and updated by Mike Sherman): Following a suspension of quarter coinage after 1807, the denomination was again produced in 1815, at which time the Capped Bust style was introduced. The motifs are similar to that found on other silver denominations of the period, first seen on the half dollar of 1807. Liberty faces left, wearing a cloth cap secured with a band inscribed LIBERTY, with tresses flowing to her shoulder. Her neckline is draped in cloth, secured by a brooch or a clasp at the shoulder. Seven stars are to the left, with six to the right. The date is below. The reverse shows an eagle perched on a branch and holding three arrows, a shield on its breast, and E PLURIBUS UNUM on a scroll above. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and 25C. appear around the border.

While several dates within this range are scarce, and the 1823/2 and 1827 are major rarities, the type collector will have no difficulty acquiring one of the more plentiful issues. Typically encountered specimens range from Very Good through Very Fine. While they are not as easily located as half dollars of the same years and designs, there are still enough around that acquiring one should present no problem. Extremely Fine, AU and Uncirculated pieces are naturally of increasing rarity, but provided one has the means, they can be found. Striking quality varies from issue to issue, and many show weaknesses in certain areas, although with some searching one should be able to find a well-defined piece.

After a two-year lapse, coinage of quarter dollars resumed in 1831. Employed was a revision of John Reich’s Capped Bust style introduced in 1815. The 1831-1838 version is of smaller diameter and has restyled features, letters, stars and numerals, giving the piece a more cameo-like appearance than its predecessor. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM was removed from the reverse as well.

The type collector has their choice of any date from 1831 to 1838, as all are priced approximately the same in the market, although certain dates, 1835 in particular, are more plentiful than others. Examples are readily found in grades from Very Good through Extremely Fine. AU and Uncirculated pieces, though more expensive, should pose no problem if one wishes to acquire one. Superb Uncirculated pieces, like all early 19th century issues, are rare and costly.

-- Reprinted with permission from "United States Coins by Design Types - An Action Guide for the Collector and Investor" by Q. David Bowers