Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin

Congress first authorized the Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin (or Quarter Eagle) in 1792. Throughout the history of the coin, many design changes were made. In 1840, Christian Gobrecht redesigned the $2.50 coin to include the Liberty Head (referred to as the $2.50 Coronet Type). The Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin held the design without significant changes for the longest period in American coin history.

Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin Design – Designer, Christian Gobrecht, had a goal to craft the $2.50 Gold Coin into a design similar to the larger $10 and $20 Liberty Gold Coins. With Lady Liberty featured on the front side of the coin, her hair is pulled into a bun with loose curls about her neck. She is donning a coronet inscribed with the word “LIBERTY” while 13 stars to represent the original colonies encircle the coin. The date of the issue appears at the bottom of the coin.

The reverse side of the coin features symbolic bald eagle, wings spread, perched on an olive branch. The eagle clinches three arrows beneath its talons and displays a shield of stars and stripes upon its chest. The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” along with the denomination and mint mark appear as well.

Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin Minting – The Philadelphia Mint produced the Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin from 1840 through 1907. Before the Civil War, more pieces were struck in Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans. The San Francisco Mint produced Liberty Heads on some years after 1854 and forward.

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In 1848, the US Military Governor of California sent 230 oz. of pure gold to the Secretary of War. The coins were then minted into quarter eagles. The letters “CAL” were placed above the heraldic eagle on the reverse to distinguish these California $2.50 Gold Piece coins.


Size2.50 Liberty
Weight4.18 g
Metal Content0.1209 oz.