1825 CAPPED BUST $2 1/2, LG DENT. MS66
GEM FLASHY SURFACES. ONLY 4,434. SOLE HIGHEST AT NGC.
1825 CAPPED BUST $2.5 - TYPE 2 $2.50
From the earliest days of U.S. federal coinage until 1834, the quarter eagle was strictly an afterthought, produced at sporadic intervals and in minute quantities, likely only to order for customers specifically requesting the 'odd' denomination. (The large cent, silver half dollar, and half eagle were the workhorses of early U.S. commerce.) The mintage of quarter eagles for 1825, recorded as 4,434 coins (not necessarily all dated 1825), is a case in point.
After a hiatus of 13 years, the Mint resumed production of Quarter Eagles in 1821. The Capped Head Left type introduced that year may have been the work of aging Chief Engraver Robert Scot, Assistant Engraver John Reich having left federal employment in 1817. Nevertheless, the new design closely resembles that of the 1808 Capped Bust Left delivery. The only differences are a smaller obverse portrait, the arrangement of stars around the entire border on that side and the inclusion of more pronounced denticles at the rims. Examples delivered through 1827 were struck using an open collar, for which reason this is often referred to as the Large Size or Large Diameter Capped Head Left type.
Due to the continued unpopularity of this denomination among contemporary gold bullion depositors, the Mint struck very few Quarter Eagles from 1821-1827. In fact, no examples were produced in 1822 or 1823. Although limited mintages almost certainly play a part, the extreme rarity of this type is due predominantly to the wholesale destruction of coins either by the federal government or private speculators. The latter carried out their handiwork during the 1820s and early 1830s during a rise in gold prices on the world market. The Mint, on the other hand, destroyed Quarter Eagles of this type after June 28, 1834 to provide bullion for the new, lighter-weight gold coins of the Classic design. The result of both actions is that this is one of the most challenging types to collect in the entire U.S. coinage family.