In mid-1838, Christian Gobrecht's Seated Liberty design finally made it to the Quarter Dollar -- two years after it had appeared on the Silver Dollar and a full year after it appeared on the Half Dimes and Dimes. Gobrecht's original design did not have any drapery under Liberty's left elbow (viewer's right); the drapery was not added on the Quarters until 1841. Some collectors believe the No Drapery design should be recognized as a separate type and we tend to agree. Regardless, the only option for the 1838 Quarter is the No Drapery version.
This date is fairly common and can be found in circulated grades with relative ease. Mint State examples are scarce, bordering on rare, and the typical grade falls into the MS62 to MS64 range. Gems are very rare, and the finest example is a stunning, blast white PCGS MS68 currently in the High Desert Collection. This very same coin set the record price of $195,500 in 2009.
James W. Lull Collection - Bowers & Merena 2/2005:681, $155,250 - Joseph C. Thomas Collection - Heritage 4/2009:2338, $195,500 - High Desert Collection (PCGS Set Registry)
D. Brent Pogue Collection
William Mitkoff, sold privately in 1972 - Jimmy Hayes Collection - Stack’s 10/1985:38 - Craig M. Morgan, MD Collection - Bowers & Merena 11/1998:111, not sold