The Distinctive Draped Bust Quarter

In 1796, the US Mint came out with the original quarter coin which became known as the Draped Bust Quarters due to the front design. It initially struck people as odd to have a 25-cent coin in circulation but it eventually caught on with the masses. This particular edition was made until 1807, though the official count is only eight production years because there were times when minting was halted.

The metallic composition of the coin is eighty-nine percent silver and eleven percent copper. The front side’s design is that of a woman with long wavy tresses having a dress over her bust. The back side’s design is usually a variation of eagles. The substantial size of the coin is unexpected given its modest value but this was due to the reference to the Spanish reales.

Those who collect these coins rate the 1796 version as the most important because of its unique back design of a small eagle. While some versions may be harder to find, this one has a distinctive charm that puts it above the rest.

These quarters enjoyed wide usage which unfortunately means that those which have survived are typically far from immaculate. Yet collectors still yearn to find them in appreciation of their historical significance.

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