Are you wondering what a 2.5 dollar gold coin is, let alone what it is worth?
If you are, then you have come to the right place. This rare and valuable coin has been an object of fascination for many numismatists, or collectors of coins and currency.
In this blog post, we will explore the history behind this unique coin as well as look at how much it might be worth today depending on its condition and rarity. We’ll also discuss the unique features found in 2.5 dollar gold coins, as well as any varieties or errors that are available.
So read on if you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating piece of American numismatic history!
2.5 Dollar Gold Coin History
First, let’s look at the history of this unique coin. In the United States of America, $10 gold coins are also nicknamed “Eagles.” The 2.5 dollar gold coins are also called quarter eagles, coming in with a face value of $2.50, which is a quarter of $10.
The 2.5 dollar gold coins began in 1796 by the United States Mint, and continued to be produced well into the 1900s.
The first 2.5 dollar gold coin design (from 1796 to 1807) featured Lady Liberty facing right with a large hat – this was nicknamed the Turban Head coin. Following that design came the Capped Bust gold quarter eagle, which was created only in the year 1808. Next came the Classic Head gold coin, which was produced from 1834 to 1839.
The fourth design consisted of Lady Liberty with a coronet. These coins were called the Liberty Head gold coins or the Coronet gold coins and were minted starting in 1840.
They were widely accepted and continued to be minted until 1907, when President Roosevelt felt it was time to change things up. Once he influenced a change in the design, the 2.5 dollar gold Indian head coin was created. It was minted from 1908 to 1915 and then again in 1925 through 1929.
Due to the pure gold content, these gold coins were highly sought after, as they served as an attractive form of currency for traders and merchants alike. This allowed for rapid circulation throughout the country as well as internationally due to its recognition and high purity of gold content compared to other international currencies at the time.
Unfortunately, this also made them desirable in their melted down state, and so many were destroyed and lost to history.
Today, these coins have huge historical significance and scarcity!
2.5 Dollar Gold Coin Features and Value
When looking at 2.5 dollar gold coins, there are five designs, as we mentioned above. These coins are highly valued due to their rarity and historical significance as well as the fact that they are composed entirely of precious metals such as gold and copper which have value beyond currency or monetary use alone.
Let’s look at the features of each quarter eagle throughout American history and its value.
The Turban Head 2.5 Dollar Gold Coin
The Turban Head 2.5 dollar gold coin was produced from 1796 to 1807. It was designed by Robert Scot and has a composition of 92% gold and 8% silver and copper. It has a diameter of 20 millimeters and a weight of 4.37 grams.
This obverse of this design shows Lady Liberty facing right with a large turban-style hat and a necklace of beads around her neck. The reverse side has an eagle with outstretched wings, holding arrows and an olive branch in its talons. It also has 13 stars, which represent the original thirteen colonies.
It was minted at only one location, which was Philadelphia.
There are several varieties of the Turban Head quarter eagle, and no matter which one you are looking at, it will be extremely valuable. Very few of these were ever produced, which adds to the value.
The lowest value given to one of these coins is $5,791, and that’s for an 1802 “no mint mark” coin in “Fine” condition. From there, it only raises in value, all the way up to an absolutely mind-boggling amount of $2,303,864, which is for a first-year coin (1796 “no mint mark”) in mint condition!
The Capped Bust 2.5 Dollar Gold Coin
This version of the coin was only used for one year, in 1808. Like the gold coin before it, it had a metal composition of 92% gold and 8% silver and copper. The diameter is 20 millimeters and it weighs 4.37 grams.
On the obverse, this coin features an image of a Lady Liberty wearing a cap that is inscribed with “LIBERTY.” This portrait was designed by John Reich and first used on a few other denominations before it made its appearance on the quarter eagle gold coins as well. On the reverse is an eagle behind a shield with its wings spread, holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons.
The only place it was produced was at the US Mint location in Philadelphia.
Since the Capped Bust quarter eagle was only produced for one year, there are no variety coins. Not only that, but only a little over 2,700 were even minted! So, as can be imagined, any coin from this year (1808) and its design would be worth a lot of money.
For example, the lowest value in “Fine” condition is still $46,604! As you go up in grade and variety, the value continues to increase. For an 1808 “no mint mark” coin in “Extremely Fine” condition, they are worth around $112,097.
At the highest end of the spectrum, it can be worth between $260,391 and an impressive $2,895,278!
The Classic Head 2.5 Dollar Gold Coin
Designed by William Kneass, this was the first 2.5 dollar gold coin that was composed of 90% gold and 10% silver and copper. It was also smaller than the previous 2.5 dollar gold coins, coming in at 18.2 millimeters and weighing 4.18 grams. It was used from 1834 to 1839.
The obverse of this coin features a portrait of Lady Liberty wearing a crown inscribed with ‘LIBERTY’ and surrounded by 13 stars. On the reverse is an eagle with a shield on its breast, just like in the years prior, holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons.
This is the first year that the US Mint locations expanded. Beyond Philadelphia, this coin was also minted at Charlotte, New Orleans, and Denver.
There were a few varieties produced for the Classic Head 2.5 dollar gold coin. For this design, values start out at around $524 for a “Fine” condition coin from several of these coins early years. A Classic Head quarter eagle in “Uncirculated” condition can go all the way up to an amazing $74,134, depending on the year!
The Liberty Head 2.5 Dollar Gold Coin
The Liberty Head gold coins were minted between 1840 and 1907. Engraved by Christian Gobrecht, it has a composition of 90% gold and 10% copper, removing the silver content from years prior. It has a fineness of .900, the diameter is 18 millimeters, the thickness is 1.2 millimeters, and the weight is 4.18 grams.
The Liberty Head coins feature Lady Liberty with a coronet plus a semi-circle of 13 stars on the obverse side, while the reverse side depicts an eagle looking left with a shield on its breast just like in all the previous years’ designs.
This 2.5 dollar gold coin was minted in Philadelphia, Denver, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Charlotte.
The Liberty Head gold coins have the highest mintage of all 2.5 dollar gold coins, with year after year being produced from 1840-1907. As such, these are the most common varieties and therefore have slightly lower values overall than other designs. However, it is still a valuable coin.
The least valued coin from this design’s entire collection is still worth $549 in “Fine” condition. One of the most valued coins is from the year 1864, at the end of the American Civil War, worth about $297,000 at mint “Uncirculated” condition.
This is the first year of gold quarter eagles that offered Proof coins, as well. Proof coins are always minted in very limited numbers, meant for collectors, and as such, they have higher value. And no matter what year you have, all of the Proof coins from the Liberty Head collection are worth at least four figures and some much more!
For example, they range from around $8,751 up to over a jaw-dropping $86,400!
The Indian Head 2.5 Dollar Gold Coin
Designed by Bella Lyon Pratt, the Indian Head gold coins were produced from 1908-1929 and are composed of 90% gold and 10% copper. That means, like the Liberty Head, it has a gold fineness of .900. The diameter is also 18 millimeters, and it is 1.4 millimeters thick with a reeded edge.
It has a weight of 4.18 grams, which is slightly heavier than the two-dollar gold coin (3.99 grams).
The obverse of the Indian Head coin features a portrait of Lady Liberty wearing an Indian headdress with the word ‘LIBERTY’ inscribed above it. The reverse shows an eagle standing on a bundle of arrows with the words ‘E Pluribus Unum‘ beside its body.
During its time of production, this beautiful coin was minted in three US Mint locations: Denver, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.
The Indian Head 2.5 dollar gold coin is the last quarter eagle to be produced before its official discontinuance in 1929. It was not produced for a very long time, however, hundreds of thousands of these coins were minted each year (with hundreds of thousands produced at each location each year, as well). In other words, this design’s value is still high but not as high as the designs that come before it.
In a “Very Fine” condition, the lowest valued coin clocked in at $497, which is still wonderful, compared to many other collectable coins. For an “Uncirculated” example, these coins can easily bring up to $575 or $1,500 or more!
One of the coins, the 1911 “D” Indian Head 2.5 dollar gold coin, has a higher value than all of the others. Their value starts at $3,154 at “Very Fine” condition. It rises from there to $13,392 for “Uncirculated” coins.
This design also had Proof coins, which were worth a lot more than the other coins minted. They begin at $11,306 and reach as high as $17,408.
2.5 Dollar Gold Coin Errors
There are some extremely rare errors that pop up from time to time. For example, there is a rotated die error in some of the 1847 “O” Liberty Head coins, and it’s worth at least four figures – and likely a whole lot more if it were to be sold in an auction.
These would obviously be worth a lot more than their regular counterparts, depending on the rarity and the condition.
Ultimately, these 2.5 dollar gold coins are not only valuable due to their rarity and historical significance but also because they contain precious metals such as gold, silver, and copper. The value of these coins depends on the year, design, and condition, and as you can see from our overview, some of these coins are worth millions!
So no matter which type of 2.5 dollar gold coin you have, whether it’s Turban Head, Capped Bust, Classic Head, Liberty Head, or Indian Head – there is no doubt that you are in possession of an incredibly valuable coin! With their rarity and beauty, there is no question that these coins are some of the most sought after in the entire world.
Investing in a 2.5 dollar gold coin is one of the most rewarding and smart investments you could make! So, what are you waiting for? Go get your hands on one today!
Which of these coins is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.