The 1879 Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coins were designed by Christian Gobrecht. Only two mints, Philadelphia and San Francisco, struck Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coins in 1879. Over 130,000 gold coins were produced between the two facilities, with Philadelphia generating the higher amount of coinage this year. The production figures reflect much larger numbers of 1879 gold coins than what actually exist today. This is thanks to heavy melting of these pre-1933 U.S. gold coins, after the nation left the gold standard in 1933.
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.
When looking at coins as old as the 1879 Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin, you have to take a close look at the coin’s condition. While a coin may be valuable even if in poor condition, collectors generally look for coins in excellent overall condition. Finding coins in excellent condition can prove to be very difficult, however.
When you are inspecting a coin’s condition, you are basically trying to determine how the coin might be graded. Grades are assigned by professional grading companies. You can, however, get a good idea of how your coin may be graded using the guidelines below.
Uncirculated: Collectors love to obtain coins in uncirculated condition. These coins have never been used in circulation, and will appear as if they were just rolled off the mint’s presses. These coins are in near-perfect condition, and are not only beautiful but can be extremely valuable.
Extremely Fine: Just a step below uncirculated grade, collectors also look for coins in extremely fine condition. These coins will, however, have some very minor wear and tear or damage. The coin will normally look pristine, and its imperfections may only be seen under very close inspection.
Fine: A coin that is assigned a grade of fine has been circulated and has damage that may include scratches or even small dents. Despite this damage, however, the coin’s imagery and any text are still easily discerned and in decent overall condition.
Good: The vast majority of Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coins that are bought and sold today are in good condition. These coins have exchanged hands many times over throughout the years, and show their age and wear. Collectors most often avoid coins in good condition, looking for coins that are in superior overall condition.
The first step in determining the coin’s potential value is identifying its type. Mint year 1879 saw two different types of this coin produced. Secondly, you must get a good idea of the coin’s condition and how it might be graded. The chart below will show you what you might expect a 1879 Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Coin to be valued at based on its type and grade.
Liberty Head $2.5 Gold Coin
|1879 Liberty Head $2.5 Gold Coin||N/A||N/A||$365||$375|
|1879 Liberty Head $2.5 Gold Coin (S)||N/A||N/A||$365||$550||Source: Red Book|