1854 was a big year for U.S. coinage, most especially gold coins. That was the year that the San Francisco mint opened, an event that followed the discovery of massive gold resources in California a few years earlier. Liberty Head $2.50 quarter eagles are numismatic gold coins that are collected by many who study and appreciate 19th-century coinage.
1854 gold quarter eagles were produced at five mints, including the Philadelphia, Charlotte (C), Dahlonega (D), New Orleans (O), and San Francisco (S) mints, with Philadelphia and New Orleans producing the largest share of these coins. While all 1854 gold coins are scarce, those struck at the Charlotte, Dahlonega, and San Francisco mints are the rarest in terms of overall availability; these coins were not saved in substantial quantities to begin with, most having later been lost or melted.
Here is a rundown of the mintages and values for 1854 Liberty Head quarter eagle gold coins:
1854, 596,258 minted; $360
1854-C, 7,295; $1,500
1854-D, 1,760; $3,500
1854-O, 153,000; $385
1854-S, 246; $275,000
*Values are for coins grading Very Fine-20, unless otherwise noted.
Liberty Head $2.50 gold coins consist of a 90 percent gold and 10 percent copper composition, which is the ordinary “coin gold” alloy for gold coins of the time period. 1854 Liberty Head $2.50 gold coins weigh 4.18 grams and have a diameter of 18 millimeters, meaning they are roughly the diameter of a standard U.S. dime. These gold quarter eagle coins contain a total of 0.1202 ounces of gold.
1854 $2.50 gold coins were designed by Christian Gobrecht, who served as the U.S. Mint’s chief engraver. He is also well noted as the designer of Seated Liberty coinage, which ran from the late 1830s through 1891.