US Coins

Market Analysis: A top-graded 1917 Standing Liberty quarter

A 1917 Standing Liberty, Bare Breast quarter dollar graded MS-67+ by PCGS is one of just 19 in this grade with none finer. This one from the Duckor Collection has a green CAC sticker and brought $25,931.25 early this year.

Images courtesy of GreatCollections.

There are two distinct design subtypes in the Standing Liberty quarter dollar series.

What is traditionally called “Type 1,” issued from 1916 into 1917 is characterized by a partially uncovered Liberty on the obverse and no stars below the eagle on the reverse, among other differences. The “Type 2” design features a fully covered Liberty.

While a popular “numismyth” — to use the term coined by researcher Roger Burdette — is that the design was changed out of public outcry over Liberty’s exposed breast, the more likely reason for the design change was to improve striking quality and efficiency.

GreatCollections on Jan. 9 offered Steven Duckor’s example of 1917 Standing Liberty, Bare Breast quarter dollar. It is graded Mint State 67+ full head by Professional Coin Grading Service and is one of just 19 in this grade, with none finer. A green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker confirms the eye appeal. It realized $25,931.25.

PCGS uses the full head designation to recognize a full strike when there is a clear and distinct separation between Miss Liberty’s hair cords and her cap.

The offered quarter dollar showed plum, gold and cool blue toning at the left side of the obverse with some icy patches of iridescence on the reverse.

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