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    Description

    1916 Standing Liberty Quarter
    MS66 Full Head
    Rarely Offered This Fine

    1916 25C MS66 Full Head NGC. When the prospect of redesigning the dime, quarter, and half dollar surfaced in 1915, the Mint was initially reluctant to employ outside artists to prepare designs after the failure of a similar venture in 1891. In early December, Director Woolley met with the Commission of Fine Arts to discuss the redesign of the United States' silver denominations, including proposed sketches prepared by Mint Chief Engraver Charles Barber. In Renaissance of American Coinage, 1916-1921, Roger Burdette documents a note to the Commission that reads in part: "Should you deem it necessary to call for other sketches I beg that you suggest the names of artists for undertaking this work."

    The Commission rejected Barber's sketches as suitable replacements for his existing design. After meeting with the Commission, Woolley wrote to Treasury Secretary William McAdoo:

    "I appeared before the Fine Arts Commission on December 3 and regret to report that the members are not pleased with any of the designs Mr. Barber submitted. I then asked them to suggest artists whom they considered competent to do the work in the best possible manner and received to-day the enclosed list."



    The artists recommended were Hermon MacNeil and Adolph Weinman -- both of whom had worked with the late Augustus Saint-Gaudens -- and the younger but talented Albin Polasek. Commission member Herbert Adams wrote to Woolley:

    "I believe each of these men has the artistic ability to produce a design which will be a credit to the administration, and that they would be practical in adapting their work to the requirements of modern coinage."



    A couple of weeks later, formal invitations were submitted to MacNeil, Weinman, and Polasek, and the famous design competition of 2016 was commenced. MacNeil's classical figure of Liberty at the gateway of the country was selected for the obverse of quarter, and the sculptor was later granted the reverse of the quarter as well, after his flying eagle was reworked. The first examples of MacNeil's quarter dollar struck for circulation rolled off the presses in December 1916. Only 52,000 pieces were struck before the end of the year.

    This Premium Gem example displays original russet-gold toning and a bold strike for the issue. A couple of small marks are evident on Liberty's knees, but the remainder of the coin is essentially untouched. An outstanding Full Head example of this first-year key, with few finer pieces known. Census: 23 in 66 Full Head, 4 finer (7/21).(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 242Y, PCGS# 5705)

    Weight: 6.25 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper


    View Certification Details from NGC

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