The 1870 Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coins were minted in the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints. Approximately 20,000 coins were minted in 1870, which is a low number to begin with, it is estimated only hundreds survive today. This is largely due to the melting of most pre-1933 U.S. gold coins for their precious metal content, which was scavenged by smelters particularly after the nation left the gold standard in 1933.
Designed by Christian Gobrecht, the Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin features the obverse (front) Lady Liberty, whose hair is worn in a tight bun secured by a string of beads with loose curls hanging down her neck. She is wearing a coronet inscribed with the word ‘Liberty’; 13 stars representing the 13 original colonies and the date of issue surround her. The reverse (back) features a proud bald eagle with wings spread, standing among olive branches. The eagle clinches three arrows in his talons, and has a shield featuring stars and stripes upon his chest. The words ‘UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’, the denomination, and the Mint Mark surround the eagle.
For any coin that has been around over half a century, the coin’s condition is very important when trying to assess the coin’s value. Coins may have some collectible value even in poor condition, although the majority of the time coin collectors look for coins in excellent condition. Finding coins in excellent condition can be challenging, however, as these coins have been around for over 150 years.
When you are looking at a coin, what you are really trying to gauge is how that coin might be graded. Although individuals cannot grade their own coins, you can get a very good idea of how your coin might be graded by a numismatist by looking at the specifications below.
Uncirculated: Coins in uncirculated condition are typically the goal of serious coin collectors. These coins have never been used in circulation, and therefore have not been exposed to the damaging elements of circulation. At a glance, and even close up, these coins will look as if they were freshly minted and have never been handled by human hands.
Extremely Fine: A step below on the grading scale, coins in extremely fine condition may still be coveted by coin collectors. These coins will, however, have some degree of imperfection. The coin must have only very minimal damage, however, to be assigned this grade. In fact, you may not even notice any blemishes unless you perform a very thorough inspection.
Fine: Coins that are assigned a grade of fine have been around the block. These coins have been handled extensively, and show age and use related damage and wear. The coin’s larger features, such as images or text, remain fully intact, however.
Good: Good is the grade assigned to most of the Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coins that are exchanged in the market today. These coins may have significant scratches, discoloration or other blemishes. These coins carry smaller premiums due to their condition, and may be shun by collectors for similar coins in superior condition.
When trying to estimate the value of a coin, you must first and foremost determine the coin type. There are two different types of the 1870 Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin. Secondly, you must determine the coin’s condition and how it might be graded. Collectors greatly value coin condition, and coins that are better preserved will often sell for much higher premiums than similar coins that have damage. The chart below can help you get an idea of what you might expect to pay for a 1870 Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin based on the coin’s condition and type.
Liberty Head $2.5 Gold Coin
|1870 Liberty Head $2.5 Gold Coin||N/A||N/A||$400||$600|
|1870 Liberty Head $2.5 Gold Coin (S)||N/A||N/A||$400||$900||Source: Red Book|