The 1873 Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coins were minted in two facilities; Philadelphia and San Francisco. However, there are actually three regular-issue pieces for the year, as variations in the shape of the digit “3” resulted for the Philadelphia-mint $2.50 coins. The Open 3 variety constituted most of the 170,000+ total mintage for the year, and is much more common that the 1873 Closed 3.
As stated above, over 170,000 coins were minted in 1873, yet it is estimated only hundreds survive today. As with most pre-1933 U.S. coins during the 20th century, these coins were melted for gold. Designed by Christian Gobrecht, Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coins consist of 90 percent gold and 10 percent copper. They have a weight of 4.18 grams, contain a total of 0.1202 ounces of gold, and measure 18 millimeters in diameter, which is roughly the diameter of a current U.S. dime.
When looking at coins that have been around for over a century and a half, you have to take a close look at the coin’s condition. While some of these coins may be valuable even if in poor condition, collectors typically only desire coins that are in pristine condition. Finding coins that have stood the test of time and look great can be quite difficult, however.
When you are looking at a coin’s condition, what you are really in effect doing is trying to decide how that coin might be graded. You can see the guidelines below to get a good estimate of what a Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin might be worth based on its condition and grade.
Uncirculated: Collectors most often try to get their hands on coins in this condition. These coins have never been circulated, or used for exchange, and because of this their mint-state condition may have been well preserved over the years. Looking at the coin’s physical appearance, you will likely assume that the coin was freshly minted and has not been around for decades.
Extremely Fine: Coins assigned this grade will have some very minor flaws. Nevertheless, they may still be sought after by collectors. With this grade, any flaws on the coin are very insignificant, and may only be noticed during a very close inspection.
Fine: Coins that are assigned this grade have been used in exchange over the years, and will have some visible signs of age and wear. That being said, any damage to the coin does not affect the integrity of the coin’s images or details.
Good: The majority of Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coins on the market today would fall into this category. These coins have seen heavy use over many years. They may have significant scratches, dents or even discoloration. For a coin collector, these coins are considered the bottom of the barrel and will often be passed on in favor of coins in better condition.
To get a reasonable estimate of the value of a 1873 Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin, you must first determine the type of coin. There were just three types produced for this mint year. In addition to the coin type, however, the coin’s condition will also be vitally important when determining its value. Collectors will look to buy similar coins in better condition, and the better the condition, the more valuable the coin will likely be. The chart below will give you a good idea of what you might expect to pay for a 1873 Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin based on type and condition.
Liberty Head $2.5 Gold Coin
|1873 Liberty Head $2.5 Gold Coin (Open 3)||N/A||N/A||$365||$375|
|1873 Liberty Head $2.5 Gold Coin (S)||N/A||N/A||$425||$975||Source: Red Book|