In competition with two other artists, Herman MacNeil’s aesthetic Standing Liberty design was chosen as the replacement for Charles Barber’s Liberty Head Quarter. MacNeil, born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, was well known for his portrait sculpture at the time. His original design, depicting Liberty with an exposed breast, had to be modified in 1917 due to public disapproval of this obscene design. George T. Morgan again modified the quarter in 1925, when the date, originally set on a raised pedestal and thereby susceptible to wear, was placed in a recessed and more protected area beneath Liberty’s feet. Premiums are paid for examples that exhibit a fully struck head of Liberty (Full Head) and oftentimes the quality of the shield detail is mentioned in auction catalog descriptions.
- 1916-1917 Standing Liberty Type I
- 1917-1930 Standing Liberty, Type II
With the exception of 1922, Standing Liberty Quarters were issued annually from 1916 to 1930. Among the scarcer dates is the low mintage 1916, the emergency war overdate 1918/17-S, the 1927-S, and the branch mint issues of 1917-1919, 1923 and 1924. In fact, any Standing Liberty Quarter in well-struck, uncirculated condition can be considered a scarce coin. Widely collected due to the popular design, the Standing Liberty Quarter can be considered a truly aesthetic work of numismatic art.