Type 2, Stars on Obverse

Obverse of 1798 Quarter Eagle
Reverse of 1798 Quarter Eagle

Ron Guth: After producing a small number of 1796 quarter eagles without stars on the obverse, new dies were prepared with thirteen stars to represent the original colonies. This same design continued through 1807, when it was replaced by John Reich's Capped Bust design. Production of quarter eagles during this period was subject to the whims of depositors, who could demand that their gold bullion be processed into specific denominations. Demand for the different denominations was inconsistent: usually $5 gold pieces were preferred, though in some years, production swung to the $10 gold pieces (see 1799). Of the $2.50, $5, and $10 denominations, the quarter eagle was consistently the least demanded by depositors. In some years, such as 1799, 1800, 1801, and 1803, no quarter eagles were produced at all. In most years, the production of quarter eagles was miniscule, resulting in the creation of modern-day rarities. Only the 1807 was produced in a meaningful quantity and, even then, the mintage was only 6,812 pieces. As expected, all coins of this type are difficult to locate in any grade; high-grade examples are very rare and highly coveted.