US Coins

Why this 1916 Standing Liberty quarter is a classic

Missouri auctioneer Scotsman Auction Co.’s latest rare coin sale was held on July 29 as part of the Missouri Numismatic Society’s 56th annual coin show, at the Saint Charles Convention Center in metropolitan St. Louis. As usual, Scotsman’s Midwest Summer Sale featured a diverse range of collector coins including a few standouts. But alongside these expensive rarities were many more lots of uncertified coins, complete or nearly-complete date and Mint mark sets in albums, and groups that proved ripe for discoveries from sharp-eyed collectors.

Here's the third and final under-the-radar coin from the sale that we're profiling in this week's Market Analysis:

The Lot:

1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar, PCGS Mint State 65 Full Head

The Price:


The Story:

One of the most popular 20th century silver coins is the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar with its obverse nudity. Examples are often weakly struck at Liberty’s head, so examples designated full head by grading services are coveted by collectors.

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Scotsman offered one graded MS-65 full head by Professional Coin Grading Service and as the auctioneer reported, “One of the all-time classics of the entire American numismatic compendium, a 1916 quarter in gem grade with full head details qualifies as a ‘perfect coin in the perfect grade.’ ”

The lustrous coin featured handsome green-gold toning and the reverse was encircled by what was described as “a distinctive band of gleaming denim-grey color, ceding once more to the prevalent chartreuse tones.” The handsome quarter dollar sold for $28,750.

There's more to this Market Analysis of under-the-radar coins:

Cleaning damages 1804 Capped Bust gold $5 coin, but boosts its affordability

Untouted 5-cent pattern designed by Charles Barber features inventive design

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