Seated Liberty Quarters (Arrows & Rays)


The second Seated Liberty Quarter variety was coined at the US Mint in 1853. This variety was created due to the California Gold Rush in the early 1850's. The immense quantity of gold being found had the effect of pushing its price down. Conversely, it had the opposite effect on the price of silver. Most all silver coins of this era were melted because they were worth more as bullion, leaving a terrible shortage of small denomination coinage. Congress observed the problem getting worse and decided to pass the Act of February 21, 1853 which lowered the amount of silver in the fractional
coinage. For the first time in its history, the country had an ample supply of small change for commerce.

The obverse design depicted Liberty seated upon a rock and surrounded by thirteen stars. Liberty is holding a union shield along with a pole with a Liberty Cap on top of it. Arrows flank both sides of the date indicating the change in weight.

The reverse shows an eagle with the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" above and the denomination "QUAR. DOL." below. The eagle is clutching arrows and an
olive branch in its talons. Rays were
also added to the reverse of the coin
to indicate the change in weight.

Coin Specifications:
Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Weight: 6.22 grams
Comp: 90.0% Silver, 10.0% Copper
Diameter: 24.3mm
Edge: Reeded



Seated Liberty Quarter (Arrows & Rays) to Quarters
Back to Coin Collecting Homepage