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Coin Of the Month

Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin

Seated Liberty Quarter (1838–1891)

Hi, kids!  I'm Plinky the Mint Pig.  Guess what I visited this month?  The Statue of Liberty—that world-famous statue given to us by the French as a token of friendship.

What city did I visit?  If you guessed New York, give yourself a pat on the back.  There, plopped in the middle of New York Harbor, on her own island, stands a beautiful, big 151-ft. statue.  The French sculptor, Bartholdi, who made her called the statue: Liberty Enlightening the World.  But to us, she's the Statue of Liberty.

On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the statue.  That's more than 100 years ago.  He recognized that she would always be a symbol of freedom in the New World.  There was a big celebration: speeches were read and songs were sung.

If you picked up a quarter during the dedication ceremony, you would see a woman sitting on a rock holding a liberty pole.  Like the Statue of Liberty, she, too, was a symbol of freedom.  Numismatists call her "seated liberty".  She appeared on nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars and dollars from 1836–1891.

Seated Liberty Quarter (1838-1891) Obverse
Obverse:  Seated Liberty quarter (1838- 1891) Liberty seated on a rock, surrounded by 13 stars and holding the Union shield along with a pole topped by a liberty cap. Assistant engraver Christian Gobrecht created this design.

Seated Liberty Quarter (1838-1891) Reverse
Reverse:  An eagle, the national bird, clutching traditional arrows and an olive branch in its talons.

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