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Obverse of 1926 Sesquicentennial Quarter Eagle     Reverse of 1926 Sesquicentennial Quarter Eagle


PCGS No: 7466

Circulation strikes:
Proofs: 1 known

Designer: John R. Sinnock

Diameter: 18 millimeters

Metal Content:
Gold - 90%
Copper - 10%

Weight: ±64.5 grains (±4.18 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (all 1926 Sesquicentennial Quarter Eagles were struck at Philadelphia)

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-65.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 886, illustrated, sold for $4,600.00  From the Luther A. Breck Collection

PCGS MS-65.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 887, illustrated, sold for $2,990.00  From the Luther A. Breck Collection

In 1926, America celebrated the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence with a huge exposition that ran from June 1st to November 30th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Special commemorative coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint and sold as souvenirs at the Exposition: one coin was a silver half dollar, the other a $2.50 gold piece (or quarter eagle). Both coins were designed by John R. Sinnock, the Mint engraver who later created the designs for the Roosevelt Dime and the Franklin Half Dollar. The front of the Sesquicentennial Quarter Eagle features a frontal view of Miss Liberty, her head turned to her right. In her right hand, she holds a torch of freedom; her left hand grasps a scroll draped over her shoulder. The reverse features a stylized view of Independence Hall, with rays of the sun shining behind.

Most of the Quarter Eagles made for the Sesquicentennial Exposition bore the normal, lustrous finish typical of coins made for circulation. In addition, an extremely limited number of Matte Proof examples were also struck, all with exceptional details and a textured, sandblast finish. The Matte Proofs were not available for sale to the general public, but were made for Sinnock’s personal collection or for special presentation purposes.

In 1988, Breen cited 2 Proof examples known to him plus rumors of "others reported." Today, experts believe Breen’s citation to be incorrect and that the two coins are actually the same.  None of the "others reported" have ever appeared on the market. Certainly, they have never passed muster at the major grading services, raising questions as to their authenticity and quality.

The finest 1926 Sesquicentennial Quarter Eagle graded by PCGS is a single MS-67.

Breen reports the net mintage for this issue at 45,793 circulation strikes (200,000 original mintage less 154,207 melted).  The "Guidebook" lists the mintage at 46,019 (200,000 original mintage + 226 assay pieces less 154,207 melted).  The difference is the assay pieces -- were they included in the original mintage or were they in addition to it?  Generally, assay pieces were pulled out of a given production run and since the maximum mintage authorized for the 1926 Sesquicentennial Quarter Eagle was 200,000, we prefer the latter figure of 46,019 pieces.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"The PCGS Population Report, April 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

"A Guidebook of United States Coins - 2003" by R.S. Yeoman