1804 Draped Bust Quarter, Large Eagle

Following a mintage of just 6,146 pieces in 1796, United States quarter production came to a halt. Since the role of a twenty-five cent coin was being filled by the Spanish Two Reales (better known in American vernacular as “two-bits”), the Mint opted to direct their scarce resources elsewhere.(1)

What’s more, bullion owners preferred the more convenient silver dollar in exchange for their deposits.(2)

Quarter production resumed in 1804. The obverse featured the same Draped Bust design from 1796, but the reverse was dominated by a larger, "heraldic" eagle, with the Great Seal of the United States emblazoned across its chest.(3)

Mintage of the 1804 quarter was just 6,738 pieces, by far the lowest of the quarters with the large eagle reverse. Although this number is slightly above the 1796 output, the survivorship of the 1804 is much lower. That’s because the 1796 was a first year issue and people were motivated to set aside examples as a novelty. The 1804 enjoyed no such status.(4)

Despite being more available than its younger half-brother, the 1796 is priced considerably higher due to pressure from type set collectors.

There are two die varieties of the 1804 quarter. Two obverses shared the same reverse to originate the B-1 and B-2 die varieties. Of these two, the B-2 is the most elusive.(5)

Another factor buoying the desirability of this coin is the mystique of the year 1804. Just about any denomination from 1804 is a rarity and an enviable acquisition by collectors. The 1804 cent, dimes, quarter, $2.50 quarter eagle (13 star reverse), and $10.00 eagle are all headline players in the numismatic big leagues, all earning roster spots in the Key Date List of recommendations.(6)

Of course, there is the granddaddy of them all, the 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar, quite possibly the most famous coin in the world. It was omitted from the Rare Coins 101 recommendations list because it is virtually uncollectible.

As is true with a few other coins in the Classic Rarities group, price trends for the 1804 quarter have been uncharacteristically stagnant for more than a decade. It’s not unusual when even a really good coin takes a “breather,” only to reawaken one day and resume its sharp uphill climb with a vengeance. Let’s say the 1804 quarter is a “sleeper” at the moment.

Estimated survivors in all grades: 387
? The survivor estimate from PCGS represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in all grades. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Learn more at PCGS.
PCGS Rarity Scale: 6.2
? The 'PCGS CoinFacts Rarity Scale' assesses the relative rarity of all U.S. coins, based on estimated surviving examples. The scale runs from 1.0 to 10.0. The higher the number, the rarer the coin.
Learn more at PCGS.
Click HERE to check for availability on eBay**

Preview of eBay selection (you may get a better selection of 1804 quarters using the HERE link above):

1804 Draped Bust Large Eagle quarter images 1804 Draped Bust Large Eagle quarter key date
Trendline Avg = 11.90 CLASSIC RARITY
Last updated 4-9-24
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1. NGC.  Early Quarters (1796-1838).

2. Heritage Auctions.  1804 25C B-1.  Dec 2005 Auction.

3. NGC.  Early Quarters (1796-1838).

4. Heritage Auctions.  1804 25C B-1.  Oct 2014 Auction.

5. Heritage Auctions.  1804 25C B-1.  Apr 2009 Auction.

6. Stack's Bowers Galleries.  1804 Draped Bust Quarter. B-1.  Mar 2012 Auction.

**Many very fine coin dealers sell on eBay. At any point in time, there may be over one million search results for United States coins. This includes quite a few of the recommendations on our Key Date Coin List.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a rare coin, eBay is certainly worth a look. For your convenience, the links from this site to eBay are coded to bring up only coins certified by PCGS and NGC.

As is always, always the case, never buy a valuable coin from a seller whose trustworthiness cannot be verified. Learn more about this at our chapter Best Places to Buy Coins, which also has a section on doing business on eBay.

In the interest of full disclosure, Rare Coins 101 receives a small commission anytime someone connects to eBay from this site and purchases something.

Coin images by Stack's Bowers Galleries.