The U.S. Quarter, Four 20th Century Designs

Date: 1897 - 1976
United States

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Item Description:

This set of four coins shows the evolution of the U.S. quarter, with examples of each major design change over the 20th century. Included are a Barber quarter, Standing Liberty quarter, Washington quarter (made from 90% silver), and the 1976 issue of the copper-nickel Washington quarter commemorating the bicentennial of U.S. independence.

The set includes a Certificate of Authenticity.

Barber quarter (1892 - 1916):

Engraved by Charles E. Barber, these quarters showcased a liberty head on one side and a formidable eagle, with talons gripping both an olive branch and arrows, on the other. Struck from 1892 to 1916, they hold the distinction of being one of the most iconic American coins from the turn of the 20th century. Though the Barber Quarters had their fair share of admirers and critics alike, by 1916 they met the end of their production run. But the demand for quarters was ceaseless, and thus they were replaced by the evocative Standing Liberty Quarter.

Standing Liberty quarter (1916 - 1930):

Designed by Hermon A. Macneil, the Standing Liberty quarter symbolized the pivotal moment of America's shift from a neutral stance to a proactive involvement in World War I. Lady Liberty, portrayed on the coin, was seen taking a step forward with a commitment to defending peace, while the eagle on the flip side was a potent emblem of freedom and strength. This coin, minted from 1916 to 1930, was brought to a halt by the Great Depression in 1931, making way for the renowned Washington Quarter in 1932.

Washington silver (1932 - 1964):

The Washington Quarter was initially meant as a tribute to the bicentennial of Washington's birth in 1732. Congress held a competition stating the quarter would display a portrait of George Washington on the obverse, with the reverse being “national in nature.” The winning design was thought to be by Laura Gardin Fraser, but while her design was popular, then-treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon ultimately chose a portrait by John Flanagan instead. However, in 2022, the U.S. mint would finally adopted Fraser's portrait as the official design of the U.S. quarter--91 years after she first submitted the design.

Washington copper-nickel (1965 - present):

In 1965, President Johnson approved the Coinage Act, removing silver from circulating coins. From this point on, all quarters would be made of copper and nickel. By 1976, amidst the U.S. Bicentennial celebrations, another design debate ignited. The Colonial Drummer, surrounded by 13 stars, took center stage on the reverse of the Bicentennial quarter. Jack L. Ahr's design stirred controversy, with artist William A. Smith pointing out its uncanny resemblance to his 1973 commemorative stamp. Despite the dispute, Ahr's vision held its ground, marking a significant chapter in the ongoing tale of America's beloved 25-cent piece.


Your order will include:

  • The historical item(s) shown above
  • Glass top leatherette display box
  • Information card and Certificate of Authenticity

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