Three-Piece Standing Liberty Silver Quarter Mint Mark Collection
Silver Quarters were once part of American coinage - but silver coins disappeared generations ago and circulating silver quarters are now a long-forgotten memory. This unique collection features one historic Standing Liberty Silver Quarter from each of the three Mints - Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. It comes in a display box with a Certificate of Authenticity.
The Standing Liberty silver quarter was first minted in late 1916 and instantly became America's most scandalous coin. The designer was famed sculptor Hermon A. MacNeil and he used Broadway actress Irene MacDowell as the model for Lady Liberty. The design shows Liberty standing with a shield (symbolizing war) in one hand and an olive branch (symbolizing peace) in the other. This was an important image in 1916 because the U.S. had not yet joined World War I and it showed that the nation was peace-loving yet willing to fight for freedom.
However, Liberty was shown with an exposed breast and the Society for the Suppression of Vice was very vocal about the coin being "immoral" and "obscene." There was such an uproar that the U.S. Mint was forced to change the design in 1917 to cover Liberty's breast with a chain-mail shirt. The reverse of the coin shows a beautiful eagle in flight.
This was America's quarter from World War I through the "Roaring Twenties" and the start of the Great Depression. Each coin was struck in the beauty of .900 fine silver and is a genuine piece of American history. The last Standing Liberty Silver Quarter was made in 1930, the year after the stock market crash. It was replaced with the Washington Quarter in 1932 (no Quarters were made in 1931).
The Standing Liberty Silver Quarter disappeared from circulation, so the three coins in this collection are rarely seen even in the finest coin collections. The mintages were minuscule compared to the mintages of quarters today. In fact, the total number of Standing Liberty Silver Quarters minted in the entire year of 1930 is about equal to the number of State Quarters minted every day today! And most Standing Liberty Silver Quarters were worn out or damaged in circulation generations ago - especially in the Great Depression when all coins were treasured - leaving just a fraction in collectible quality like those in this collection.
Finding one of each coveted mint mark is quite challenging. What's more, millions of silver coins were melted for the precious silver in 1979-80 when silver reached a record $50.35 an ounce - leaving even fewer coins for today's collectors.
Display Box Dimensions: 6-1/4" x 2-1/4" x 1"
Distributed by the Franklin Mint. Country of origin is United States.
The United States' first mint was opened in Philadelphia in 1793. Cents and half-cents were its first coins struck for circulation. Dies were cut by hand and each cutter added their own touch to the coin. Horses and strong men were the "machines" that operated the presses that made the coins. Mints were located in Philadelphia (PA), Denver (CO), West Point (NY), San Francisco (CA), Carson City (NV), New Orleans (LA), Charlotte (NC) and Dahlonega (GA). Only four of these mints currently exist: Philadelphia, Denver, West Point and San Francisco. The other four were closed soon after the Civil War.
A mint mark is a small letter struck on an open area of a coin to represent the mint location where it was made. While mint marks began in ancient Greece and Rome, the first mint marks to appear on coins in the United States were in 1838. Mint marks were usually struck on the reverse side of the coins. In 1968, however, mint director Eva Adams changed the striking to the obverse of the coin in order to gain uniformity.
Mint marks are quite important to collectors because they help to determine a coin's value. A coin may have been struck in mass quantities at one mint, yet struck in smaller quantities at another. The coin struck in smaller quantities may be worth more than the one produced at a larger count. Mint marks are also important to collectors who gather the same coin from every mint it was struck.
The Philadelphia Mint has always been the main U.S. Mint location, yet the majority of coins struck there did not have mint marks until 1980. It carried the title of the world's largest mint until 2009. All coins from Philadelphia carry the letter "P". Pennies, however, are the exception, as they do not carry mint marks.
The Denver Mint opened in 1906 due to the gold and silver discoveries in Colorado. Coins produced there are marked with the letter "C". The West Point Mint opened in 1988 and coins produced there are marked with the letter "W". The San Francisco Mint opened in 1854, thanks to the gold rush in California. Coins produced there are marked with an "S".
The grade of a coin is an essential element of information when it comes to coin collecting. The grade explains what physical condition the coin is in, therefore is important in determining a particular coin's value. Below explains the different coin grades given by most certification companies, from flawless to poor condition.
Coin Certification Companies
The United States Treasury initially conceived of a limited issue commemorative coin to honor the bicentennial of George Washington's birth. However, after winning over the American public so convincingly upon its debut in 1932, the new coin was retained indefinitely. The obverse of the coin features the bust of George Washington, while the reverse shows an eagle with expanded wings clutching a bundle of arrows over an olive branch.
The design is the work of sculptor John Flanagan and came about as a result of an open competition held by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1931. A judging panel initially selected the submission of Laura Gardin Fraser (wife of Buffalo Nickel designer, James Earle Fraser) as the winner, but was overruled by Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon, who declared Flanagan's design victorious. Though Mellon cited Flanagan's superior work as his reason for his decision, some believe the truth was that he simply could not bring himself to award first prize to a woman. In 1999, the United States Mint issued a five-dollar commemorative gold piece marking the 200th anniversary of Washington's death which featured Laura Gardin Fraser's design submission from the 1931 Washington Quarter contest.
For the Bicentennial of the United States in 1976, the U.S. Mint held another contest and requested design concepts for a reverse to be used on the Washington Quarter for the celebratory year. Similar competitions for the Bicentennial celebration were also held for the dollar and half-dollar coin designs. An image by Jack L. Ahr, featuring a regimental drummer in colonial army uniform adjacent to a torch surrounded by 13 stars, was chosen to appear on the quarter coin. The dual date of 1776-1976 was added to the obverse. John Flanagan's original design resumed production in 1977.
In 1999, the United States Mint celebrated the debut of the 50 State Quarters program. For every year in the subsequent decade, the Mint released five different reverse designs for the Washington quarter with each design honoring a different State in the Union. States were recognized by order of their entrance into the Union. The District of Columbia and United States Territories were honored in the same manner throughout the year in 2009. In 2010, the United States Mint began a 56-issue series for the Washington Quarter titled America the Beautiful Quarters program. Reverse designs in this series will feature national parks and sites in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories.