1926 Independence Sesquicentennial Quarter Eagle
Here's a commemorative coin that's a great subject for July and Independence Day. It marks the sesquicentennial (that's a fancy word for 150th anniversary) of the year the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress.
Finding a specimen of this coin is pretty hard...especially finding one in really good condition. One reason is that the coins weren't sold in protective packaging, so survivors tend to be worn. Another reason is that only 200,000 were made, and only about 46,000 of them were sold. The rest were melted down after the fair.
The fair was a huge 6-month-long exposition held in Philadelphia, birthplace of the nation. The arts, sciences, and industries created major exhibits. Coin sales were to help offset the cost of the fair.
By the way, a quarter eagle is a gold coin marked $2.50. So how much would an eagle be? If you figured $10.00, you're right! Four times as much!
Liberty's clothing (on the front of the coin) is modern for its day. Its straight lines and tight cap were fashionable in the 1920s when it was made. The building on the back is Independence Hall, the state house of Pennsylvania, where the Declaration was signed.
Actually, there was a second coin made to commemorate the sesquicentennial and also sold at the fair. It was a silver half dollar with an interesting twist to its obverse image. There's no room to tell you about it now, but maybe we can make it the Coin of the Month next July!