1/4 Eagle Menu
Draped Bust Right
Capped Bust Left
Draped Bust Quarter Eagle "Turbin Head" (1796 - 1807)
The first delivery of the quarter eagle, or $2-1/2, was not made until the autumn of 1796, making
them the last of the three gold denominations to be coined in gold.
Designer: Robert Scot
Content: 90% gold 10% other
Diameter: 18 millimeters
Weight: 4.18 grams
Mintmarks: None (all were struck in Philadelphia)
Type 1 (1796)
Draped Bust, No Stars
These coins bear Robert Scot's bust of Liberty facing right, clad in a loose-fitting gown and tall
cap which is often mistakenly refered to as a "turbin". A total of just 963 pieces was recorded for
the year. This first emission lacked stars on the obverse, making it unique among coins of that
design. This first quarter eagles may have been a test of a proposed starless obverse.
The Heraldic Eagle reverse of this type is an adaptation of the Great Seal of the United States of
America. Starless Draped Bust quarter eagles were poorly made, when judged by the standards usually
applied to gold coins. Low mintage and poor quality place the Starless Quarter Eagles among the most
expensive and highly sought coins in the United States series.
Type 2 1796
Draped Bust, 16 Stars on Obverse
Sixteen Stars were added, one for each state in the United States at that time. It soon became obvious that
as the number of States grew, placing enough stars on a coins to represent each State was increasingly
difficult. The total number of stars had to be limited at some point.
Type 3 (1796-1807)
Draped Bust, 13 Stars on Obverse
Even after the Mint was ready for production of gold coins, few quarter eagles were produced. Depositors prefered the
larger half eagles and eagles. These coins bear Robert Scot's bust of Liberty facing right, clad in a loose-
fitting gown and tall cap which is often mistakenly refered to as a "turbin". It was decided that the proper number of stars
should be thirteen, and thereby represent each of the origional colonies that came together and formed the United States.
The reverse has a large, Heraldic eagle patterned after the Great Seal of the United States. A ribbon in the eagle's
beak extends left and right, bearing the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM. The eagle holds a bundle of arrows (eight
are visible) in its dexter claw and an olive branch in its sinister claw.
14 Stars on Reverse
Eventually, the same logic was used to determine the number of stars on the reverse of the coin.