1859 $2.50 New Reverse XF45 Certification #31982574, PCGS #7788
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 WrubelQuickfinder 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.
90% Gold, 10% Copper
The United States of America