While authorized in 1792, quarters were not actually produced until four years later. Between 1796 and 1807, two different types of quarters were produced, both designed by Robert Scot. The first quarter dated 1796 have a Draped Bust obverse with a small eagle on the reverse. From 1804 to 1807, the small eagle was replaced with a larger, Heraldic eagle. Slightly more than half a million coins of both types were produced, the vast majority of which was coined in 1805-1807.
- 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle reverse Type
- 1804-1807 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle reverse Type
Production of the first type of U.S. quarter, in 1796 only, amounted to only 6,146 pieces. It is, however, one of the most sought-after U.S. coins – mainly by type coin collectors. It is often seen in either well-worn condition or in Mint State, or close to it. In the higher grades it is sometimes found with prooflike surfaces. By contrast, the 1804, with a mintage of only 592 more pieces than the 1796, and many times more rare than the 1796 issue, is not as highly valued by today’s collectors. This is due to the fact that quarters of that type, dated between 1805 and 1807 are more readily available to collectors.