Super High Grade $2.5 Liberties
$2.5 Liberty Quarter Eagle
Gold is a soft, malleable and delicate metal. For centuries, it has been alloyed with other metals to make it stronger, more durable and better-suited for use in coinage. This has been the case for American gold coins since our country’s founding.
To ensure our gold currency would last for years (if not decades), and withstand the abuse of everyday commerce, a small amount of copper was mixed in. The 90% gold:10% copper ratio made the coins slightly harder and less susceptible to deterioration.
Even with the addition of copper, American gold coins quickly accumulated flaws, blemishes and marks. In fact, before the coins left the mint, they were likely dropped into vats, jostled around and thrown into direct contact with other pieces. Many U.S. gold coins display “bagmarks,” or gouges acquired from coming into contact with other coins in the bags. Before a coin was subjected to use in circulation, it probably sustained quite a few injuries.
This is why high-grade U.S. gold coins are so scarce. Yes, Uncirculated or Mint State examples can be found without any difficulty – but they become extremely rare as you go higher on the grading scale. The jumps from grade to grade become exponentially larger. Usually the price differences (or “spreads”) from MS61 to MS62 grades are fairly modest, but they become much more pronounced from MS62 to MS63 and from MS63 to MS64. There is always a substantial jump from MS64 to MS65.
At the MS66 grade level, pre-1933 U.S. gold coins become very difficult to acquire and, in most instances, prohibitively expensive. A $5 Indian Half Eagle, for example, can be bought for just $500-$600 in MS61, but trades for tens of thousands in MS66! There are three classic U.S. gold coins that are affordable in MS66: $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles, $1 Gold Dollars and $2.50 Liberty Quarter Eagles. Of those three, the rarest one actually has the lowest price tag.
$20 “Saints” can be found in MS66 due to the sheer quantity of coins produced. Even though just a small percentage have actually survived in MS66, a small percentage of a massive mintage is still a decent quantity. Plus, a hoard of pristine $20 Saints was uncovered in the 1990s. As a result, today MS66 $20 Saints can be acquired in the $2,500-$3,000 range.
The second affordable MS66 gold coin is the Type 3 Gold Dollar. There’s a basic reason why these exist in high grade: they were treated more as novelties, than circulating coins. By the late 1880s, most Americans used Silver Dollar coins or $1 paper notes instead of tiny gold dollars. These small gold coins were primarily saved as keepsakes and mementos rather than being thrown into circulation. Consequently, today they can be found without tremendous difficulty. Depending on date, these trade in the $1,750-$2,500 vicinity.
The third affordable MS66 gold coin is the $2.50 Liberty Quarter Eagle. Unlike the $20 Saint, no massive hoards of these coins have ever surfaced. Also, unlike the Type 3 Gold Dollar, these coins actively circulated and were not saved as novelties. These two factors make the $2.50 Liberty a much rarer coin in MS66 compared to the $20 Saint or Type 3 Gold Dollar. High grade $2.50 Liberties exist today purely as a result of luck.
The vast majority of $2.50 Liberty Quarter Eagles are seen in XF or AU worn condition. When Uncirculated coins are encountered, they’re typically in the MS61-63 range. Simply put, MS66 specimens are extremely unusual.
Exactly how rare are MS66 $2.50 Liberties? Just 3.1% of all $2.50 Liberties graded by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) have been awarded the MS66 grade. As a percentage of all $2.50 Libs in existence – both certified and uncertified – MS66 coins probably represent just 1-2% of all survivors. It’s also worth pointing out MS67 coins are virtually impossible to locate and are prohibitively expensive. The value of a $2.50 Liberty triples from MS66 to MS67.
Putting rarity and valuations aside, MS66 vintage gold coins are a pleasure to hold and study. They are truly impressive from an aesthetic standpoint. In order for any coin to grade MS66, it must exhibit a perfect strike, outstanding luster, superb eye appeal and immaculate surfaces. Any major noticeable blemish will immediately disqualify a coin from grading MS66. If you’ve never seen an MS66 $2.50 Liberty in person, you will be taken by the level of preservation and quality. Some numismatists call super-grade coins like this “coins that shouldn’t exist.” It’s remarkable these coins have survived in near-perfect condition after more than a century of ravages.
We would be remiss in ignoring the historical importance of the $2.50 Liberty Quarter Eagle. It holds the important distinction of being the longest-running United States coinage design. The motif was employed continuously from 1840 through 1907 without any modification. While the Lincoln Cent has existed since 1909, its reverse design has undergone some changes over the years. The $2.50 Liberty, meanwhile, has not been tweaked in any way.
For most Americans, the $2.50 Liberty was the most commonly encountered circulating gold coin. While it wasn’t the smallest denomination – the Gold Dollar holds that title – it was the most frequently used by ordinary people. Banks and major companies preferred to use larger coins for reserves and transfers (like $10 Eagles and $20 Double Eagles), but the $2.50 Liberty was more likely to be used for everyday transactions.
We’re pleased to offer a small cache of “super-grade” $2.50 Liberties at an extremely reasonable price point. In total, we have 34 specimens graded MS66 by NGC or PCGS. Granted, any MS66 gold coin is going to have exceptional eye appeal, but these pieces are stunning in appearance. They are among the most perfectly preserved vintage gold coins we’ve encountered.
The NGC Price Guide values these coins at a minimum of $1,700 each, but we are able to make them available to you - call for pricing and details*. Not only is this price extremely reasonable relative to the current market, but it’s also a dramatic discount compared to where these coins used to trade. In 2006, they peaked at $3,800-$3,900 per coin and continued to trade for a minimum of $3,000 through 2007-2009. In fact, we cannot remember a time in the past 10-15 years that these coins have been available for less than $2,000.
Over the years, we’ve been able to offer you many intriguing U.S. gold coins. However, rarely, if ever, have we been able to present a group of super-grade pieces like these.
Vintage American gold coins in MS66 have always been tremendously scarce, but today they’re also quite affordable. MS66 $2.50 Liberty Gold Eagles offer a fantastic combination of dazzling aesthetics and outstanding value. These coins may carry a lofty grade, but at today’s levels, they carry a miniscule price tag.
(34) MS66 $2.50 Liberty Quarter Eagle - Call for pricing and details!*
Call us at 800-831-0007 to secure yours today!
*Prices are subject to change due to market fluctuation and product availability. Price includes free shipping, handling and insurance.