The Liberty Head Quarter Eagle $2.5 gold pieces introduced in 1840 shared a design with the new Eagles of 1838 and the Half Eagles of 1839, thus continuing the Mint’s long tradition of uniformity among the nation’s coins. Acting Engraver Christian Gobrecht, whose artistic style was heavily influenced by the Neoclassicism of the day, was charged with designing the new gold pieces. The Half Eagles’ obverse, inspired by Benjamin West’s famous painting Omnia Vincit Amor (“Love Conquers All”), depicts a left-facing bust of Liberty, hair knotted in back with hanging curls, wearing a coronet inscribed “Liberty”. The reverse features a very naturalistic American eagle holding arrows and an olive branch in its talons with a shield across its breast. By looking backward to antiquity, Gobrecht’s design offered the American people an aura of stability and assurance in a time of great social and technological change.
Liberty Head Quarter Eagles were minted in two slight variations from 1840 through 1907 in Philadelphia (no mintmark), San Francisco (“S” mintmark), Charlotte, North Carolina (“C”), Dahlonega, Georgia (“D”), and New Orleans (“O”), are composed of .90% gold yielding .12094 troy ounces of pure gold per coin, and measure 18mm in diameter.
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