Standing Liberty Quarter Collecting Guide

Minted from 1916 to 1930, the Standing Liberty Quarter replaced the Barber Quarter who’s designs on the dime, quarter and half dollar had dominated the coin currency for the previous 25 years. However, it was not without controversy when it was first minted. It was designed by Hermon Atkins MacNeil who was known for his works on public buildings and monuments.

The front (obverse) has a standing, front view of Liberty with her left arm raised upholding a shield in a pose of protection. Her right hand is outstretched with an olive branch. It is said that this was sending a message to the European countries that the United States was ready for war or peace. The word LIBERTY is at the top of the front of the coin with the date below. IN GOD WE TRUST shows on both sides of the standing Liberty. The back (reverse) shows an eagle in full flight with the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA at the top and e pluribus unum under those words.

A total of 226 million Standing Liberty Quarters were minted during the run. The first ones came off of the presses on December 16, 1916. They were minted in Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver, Colorado (D mint mark) and San Francisco, California (S mint mark). There were none minted in 1922 and no proof sets were ever authorized. However, some satin proof finish sets are rumored to exist from 1916 and 1917.

There are two subtypes of the Standing Liberty Quarter. Type 1 was full of controversy. Minted in 1916 and 1917, the front (obverse) showed a bare breasted Liberty which much of the population of the day found offensive. At that time, the design was modified to cover the bare breast with chain mail.

Type 2 was minted from 1917 to the end of the series in 1930 with the new design on the front but with added changes to the back (reverse) which was repositioning of the stars. There are 3 stars under the eagle on the back (reverse) after that time. Both types were minted at all three mints during this change.

Another change in 1925 creates another subset of the Standing Liberty Quarter. The dates on the coins in previous years wore off too quickly so the date was recessed for all further coins. Due to the way the coins were minted prior to that, readable dates before this change are not commonly found.


When searching for good specimens for collecting, some things to look for are a “full head” meaning that Liberty’s head is intact and detailed. Other things to look for on the Standing Liberty Quarter are the rivots on the shield. Good separated feathers on the eagle on the back (reverse) is also a feature to look for when adding to the collection. Lastly, finding coins with readable dates before the dates were recessed is truely a treasure that is fun to look for and would be exciting to find.

Key dates of this series include the 1916 since only 52,000 were minted.
Very rare 1918/7-S overdate.
1927-S semi-key date
1930-S is the last one in the series

It is an extremely popular collectable, therefore, while it is possible to own the entire series, not many collectors will have the pleasure of completing it. With that said, the Standing Liberty Quarter is 90% pure silver and the collectability based on what a metal collector would want them for, makes them all the more valueable to a traditional collector to keep these treasures of United States history just to keep them from being sold for melt value. Thereby permanently destroyed and lost.

This coin, suffering an early retirement, due to the 200th birthday of George Washington, was only minted for 14 years. The importance to save these coins to be a part of a formal collection cannot be stressed enough.


Diameter: 24.3 millimeters Weight: 6.25 grams Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper Edge: Reeded Net Weight: .18084 ounce pure silver

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