The Draped Bust Quarter is a coin that was minted by the United States from 1796 to 1807. It features a depiction of Lady Liberty on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. The design of the Draped Bust Quarter went through several modifications during its production years.
The Draped Bust Quarter was introduced following the discontinuation of the Flowing Hair Quarter design, which was the first quarter dollar coin issued by the United States Mint in 1796. The Draped Bust design was created by renowned early American engraver Robert Scot. The obverse of the coin showcases a right-facing portrait of Lady Liberty, her bust draped in a flowing dress. The words "LIBERTY" and the year of minting appear around the edge of the coin.
The reverse of the early Draped Bust Quarters features a small eagle with outstretched wings, perched on a cloud. The eagle holds a branch and arrows in its claws, symbolizing peace and readiness for war, respectively. The words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" encircle the eagle, while the denomination "25 C." or "25 CENTS" is inscribed beneath it.
In 1804, a modification was made to the reverse design of the Draped Bust Quarter. The heraldic eagle was replaced with an updated version, known as the Heraldic Eagle. This new design featured a larger eagle with a shield on its breast, grasping an olive branch and a bundle of arrows in its talons. The new reverse also included the inscription "E PLURIBUS UNUM" above the eagle.
During the years of production, the Draped Bust Quarter underwent a few minor variations. The 1796 issue had a small eagle on the reverse, while the 1804-1807 issues featured the Heraldic Eagle design. Additionally, some quarters from 1804 and 1805 were struck with a fractionally smaller diameter.
The Draped Bust Quarter holds historical significance as one of the earliest quarter dollar coins minted by the United States. It was produced during the formative years of the nation's coinage system and is considered a classic and desirable coin among collectors today. The limited mintage and age of these coins contribute to their rarity and value in numismatic circles.