On June 28, 1834, Congress reduced the size and
weight of gold coinage
to take the profit out of exportation and meltdowns. The Classic Head
Quarter Eagle type was released later in the year. This long overdue
reform reduced the amount of gold in each coin by about 6.3%, and
helped retain gold coinage in circulation.
Mint Engraver William Kneass depicted Miss
Liberty with a somewhat
masculine face, looking left, with a full head of curly, flowing hair.
She wears a headband inscribed with the word LIBERTY. The reverse
borrowed heavily from former Engraver John Reich’s eagle design, first
seen in 1807. The main difference was the omission of the motto E
PLURIBUS UNUM (Latin for “Out of Many, One”).
While This Coin Was Minted...
In 1834, Cyrus McCormick patented a machine to harvest grain. The McCormick reaper required only 2 people for operation but could do the work of at least a dozen laborers. Use of the reaper spread quickly, as farmers could order the disassembled machine through the mail. McCormick's invention helped raise grain production dramatically throughout the US. The above painting depicts the 22-year-old McCormick demonstrating his machine to the public for the first time.
Improved mining techniques in the 1820’s brought
abundant quantities of North Carolina gold to the surface. In 1828,
gold was discovered in northeast Georgia, touching off another boon for
the mining industry. The Classic Head weight reduction of 1834 gave
gold coinage a better chance of remaining in circulation, providing
further incentive to mining interests. The next logical step was to
convert raw southern gold into spending money. The biggest obstacle was
the distance to the Philadelphia
Mint, the only government coining facility in the United States.
It is advisable to buy key date Classic Head
Quarter Eagles that have
been certified by one of the four leading grading service companies:
PCGS, NGC, ICG, or ANACS. If not, then the seller must be someone of
unquestioned reputation. Rip off artists understand how collectors
salivate at the mere mention of Charlotte and Dahlonega coinage, and
utilize this emotional attachment to unload overgraded, or heaven
forbid, fake coins to trusting buyers.
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