Most Expensive Coins

1871 CC Liberty Seated Quarter: A Collector’s Guide

1871 CC Liberty Seated Quarter: A Collector's Guide

Coin collectors have an excellent value in the 1871 Liberty Seated Quarter from Carson City (CC). In the world of coin collecting, it distinguishes out due to its historical significance and rarity. This comprehensive guide presents collectors with knowledge about the coin’s design, history, rarity, grade, and purchasing and preservation tips.

Introduction: The Seated Liberty design was used on most regular-issue silver U.S. coins from 1836 to 1891. Coins with the Seated Liberty design included the half dime, dime, quarter, half dollar, and the silver dollar until 1873. Another coin with this design was the twenty-cent piece, made from 1875 to 1878, but it was stopped because it looked too much like the quarter. Seated Liberty coins were made at the main U.S. Mint in Philadelphia and branch mints in New Orleans, San Francisco, and Carson City.

History of 1871 CC Liberty Seated Quarter 

Mint Director R. M. Patterson wanted to change U.S. coin designs as early as 1835, moving away from bust-style designs to something similar to British copper coins. Engraver William Kneass started the design, but he couldn’t finish it because he had a stroke. Thomas Sully and Titian Peale drew the new design, and Mint engraver Christian Gobrecht completed the last engraving.

Key Features and Identification

1871-CC Liberty Seated Quarter Specifications and Highlights

  • Series: Liberty Seated Quarters (1838-1891)
  • Designer: Robert Ball Hughes/Christian Gobrecht
  • PCGS Number: 5479
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Diameter: 24.30 millimeters
  • Weight: 6.20 grams
  • Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
  • Mint: Carson City
  • Mintage: 10,890
  • Auction Record: $456,000 for a PCGS MS65, sold on August 28, 2022, by Heritage Auctions

High-Grade Examples: Multiple examples of the coin-graded PCGS MS64 and MS65 have been recorded, indicating the exceptional quality and rarity of higher-grade specimens.

The basic design of the 1871 CC Liberty Seated Quarter

Obverse and Reverse Design:


The obverse design of the 1871-CC Seated LibertyQuarter shows Liberty in a flowing dress, sitting on a rock. In her left hand, she holds a Liberty pole topped with a Phrygian cap, a symbol of freedom from Neoclassicism, which goes back to Ancient Greece and Rome. Even though it was unpopular in Europe after 1830, Neoclassicism stayed popular in the United States until after the Civil War. Liberty’s right-hand rests on the top corner of a striped shield with a diagonal banner that says “Liberty.” The date, 1871, is at the bottom. The shield stands for readiness to defend freedom. The date of the coin is below Liberty at the bottom.


 The reverse design of Seated Liberty coins varied by denomination. The smaller half-dimes and dimes had fewer elements. On these coins, the reverse showed a wreath around the words “half dime” or “one dime.” Before 1860, this wreath was made of laurel leaves, a Neoclassical symbol. After 1860, the wreath was enlarged and included leaves and American agricultural items like corn and wheat.

On the quarter, half dollar, and silver dollar coins, the reverse showed an eagle about to take flight, with a striped shield on its chest. The eagle held an olive branch of peace in its right talons and a bunch of arrows in its left talons. Around the top rim were the words “United States of America,” and around the bottom rim was the coin’s denomination. This design was based on a John Reich eagle from 1807 for Capped Bust coins, and it was redrawn by Gobrecht. Starting in 1866, a ribbon with the motto “In God We Trust” was added above the eagle.

Identifying the “CC” Mintmark:

  • The “CC” mintmark is found under the eagle on the reverse side of the coin. This mintmark reveals it was minted in Carson City.

Grading and Value

Importance of Coin Grading:

  • Grading is crucial for collectors because it determines a coin’s condition and affects its value. The higher the grade, the more valuable the coin.
  • The 1871-CC Liberty Seated Quarter is rare, especially in higher grades. Third-party grading services like PCGS and NGC provide a reliable grading scale.

1871 CC Seated Liberty Quarter Value:

  • Values can vary based on the coin’s grade. For example, a PCGS MS-64 coin is valued higher than an MS-61 coin.
  • Auction data and collector guides can provide specific value ranges for different grades.
  • According to the NGC Price Guide, a Seated Liberty Quarter from 1871 in the circulated condition is worth between $11500 and $150000 as of May 2024. However, in the open market, 1871 CC Quarters can fetch up to $525,000 when they are in perfect, uncirculated condition.

Collecting Tips

Where to Find 1871-CC Liberty Seated Quarters:

  • Look for these coins at reputable coin dealers or auctions. Online auctions can also be a good source.
  • Always ensure the coin is authenticated by a professional grading service.

Evaluating a Coin for Purchase:

  • Consider the coin’s condition, grading, and certification. A certified coin from a trusted grading service ensures its authenticity and grade.

Look for coins that are well-preserved with minimal wear and clear details.

By following these tips and understanding the key features and grading aspects, collectors can make informed decisions when acquiring and preserving the 1871-CC Liberty Seated Quarter.

Read More – The 1827 Capped Bust Quarter: A Numismatic Rarity


The 1871-CC Liberty Seated Quarter is a remarkable and rare coin that holds a special place in the hearts of collectors. Its historical significance, unique design, and limited mintage make it a highly sought-after piece in numismatic collections. Collectors are drawn to this coin not only for its beauty but also for the rich history it represents, including the bustling activity of the Carson City Mint during the silver boom of the 1870s.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top