Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1839 No Drapery Quarter, Glowing MS66+
    Sole Finest Certified of the Issue

    1839 25C No Drapery MS66+ PCGS. CAC. Briggs 2-B. The No Drapery Seated quarter type was struck for only three years -- at Philadelphia in 1838 and 1839, and in New Orleans for part of 1840. The goal was to produce a United States Mint product that would depart from the aridity of previous designs on grounds of aesthetic appeal and artistic merit. The Seated Liberty motif, as adapted by Christian Gobrecht from drawings prepared by artist Thomas Sully, proved to be a welcome improvement over the earlier William Kneass designs, but Mint Director Robert M. Patterson soon saw room for further improvement. In 1839, Patterson secured the services of sculptor Robert B. Hughes to mildly remodel Gobrecht's Liberty. Hughes' modifications, first seen on the working dies of 1840, were thought to have increased the artistic merit of the portrait, most noticeably by adding a flare of drapery to the space near Liberty's right (facing) elbow. This With Drapery type was coined in one form or another for the next half century.

    Modern collectors find superior artistic qualities in both designs, with many actually preferring the older No Drapery motif, partly due to its slightly more slender rendering of Liberty's figure. Of the three No Drapery issues, the 1838 and 1839 are the most often chosen for type purposes, as they are typically better struck than the similar New Orleans product of 1840. Of the two Philadelphia issues, the 1839 boasts the highest mintage (more than 491,000 coins), but is actually the scarcer coin in Mint State. Pieces grading MS61 to MS64 inclusive can be located with patience, but the certified population plummets dramatically at the Gem grade level, creating a significant challenge for the collector who must simply have nothing but the best.

    This Plus-designated Premium Gem is a remarkable example of both the issue and the No Drapery type. Encapsulated by PCGS as MS66+ with a green CAC label confirming the high quality, it is the sole finest certified 1839 quarter, even if only by the margin of the Plus designation. There are two other MS66 coins reported at PCGS, but neither has received the Plus grade that sets this piece apart, and only a single MS65 coin trails; NGC contributes just one other MS66 piece (2/15). This makes of total of no more than five Gem or better 1839 No Drapery quarters certified, with the current coin being long-recognized as the sole finest.

    Glowing luster proceeds from each side, highlighting the alternating areas of silver-white, lavender-gray, and copper-gold color that create intense eye appeal. Well-struck surfaces are noticeably free of even the smallest impairments. A few obverse stars are a trifle soft, but the remaining design elements are generally well brought up, further contributing to the visual quality. This high-end Premium Gem should certainly perform quite well at auction, given both its technical and aesthetic credentials as one of the finest No Drapery type coins available to collectors.(Registry values: P5)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 23SF, PCGS# 5392)

    Weight: 6.68 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,356

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Apr 26, 2015 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 4 days left to consign to the 2021 May 5 - 7 World and Ancient Coins Platinum Night Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    I found it reassuring that your appraisal of my coin was realistic.
    J.G. ,
    Red Rock, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search