Quarter Dollar 1893 Columbian Exposition (Isabella), Coin from United States - detailed information

Quarter Dollar 1893 Columbian Exposition (Isabella), Coin from United States
CoinQuarter Dollar 1893 Columbian Exposition (Isabella)

The Quarter Dollar is a United States coin worth 25 cents. The denomination was introduced in 1796; the choice of a quarter-dollar as a denomination - as opposed to the one fifth (twenty cents) more common elsewhere - originated with the practice of dividing Spanish milled dollars into eight wedge-shaped segments, which gave rise to the name "piece of eight" for that coin, or into quarters.

The denomination is heavily used for circulating commemorative issues, but to date there has been only one Non-Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) issue in it - the Isabella Quarter (or Columbian Exposition Quarter) struck in 1893. It was intended as a "show piece" for the World's Columbian Exposition - a world's fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World in 1492; the coin was sold at the event, and by mail order. The exposition had been authorised by Congress two years previously; that legislation created a Board of Lady Managers and a Board of Gentleman Managers to oversee the fair.

U.S. Congress authorised the numismatic piece at the request of the Board of Lady Managers of the World's Columbian Exposition. The quarter depicts on the obverse the Spanish Queen Isabella I of Castile, who sponsored Columbus's voyages to the New World. It was designed by Bureau of the Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, with the reverse based on a sketch by Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan.

The design was not popular at the time, and the coin did not sell well at the Exposition; its price of $1 was the same as for the Columbian half dollar, and the quarter was seen as the worse deal. A total of 40,023 pieces were struck, with the 23 coins over the authorised mintage retained by the Mint for inspection by the 1894 Assay Commission. Some 15,000 quarters were sold to collectors, dealers, and fairgoers, including several thousand of them purchased by the Scott Stamp and Coin Company. Of the remainder, approximately 10,000 quarters were bought at face value by the Lady Managers; 15,809 were returned to the government for melting. After deducting pieces returned for melting, a total of 24,214 coins were distributed to the public.

Mintunknown Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage40,023
United States / Quarter Dollar 1893 Columbian Exposition (Isabella) - obverse photo

Within a toothed border, the obverse of the coin shows at its centre the crowned bust (based on a contemporary portrait) of Queen Isabella I of Castile (1451 - 1504), facing left, wearing richly decorated clothes and a jewelled hairnet.

Around left and around right, the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; inside that around right, the date of issue: 1893.

Obverse Inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1893
United States / Quarter Dollar 1893 Columbian Exposition (Isabella) - reverse photo

Within a toothed border, the reverse design shows a kneeling woman holding a distaff in her left hand and a spindle in her right hand - a symbol of women's industry.

Around above, the (shortened) name of the managing body which requested the coin to be issued: BOARD OF LADY MANAGERS; around below, the name of the coin: · COLUMBIAN QUAR. DOL. · (abbreviated from Columbian Quarter Dollar).

EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
All (1) coins of type: Quarter Dollar, NCLT
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Quarter Dollar 1893 Columbian Exposition (Isabella): Details
CountryUnited States
CurrencyUS Dollar
Coin TypeQuarter Dollar, NCLT
Face Value25 (x Cent)
Circulation MintageNone
Total Mintage40,023
Material0.900 Silver
DesignerCharles E. Barber
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size24.3000 mm
Mass6.2500 g
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Quarter Dollar 1893 Columbian Exposition (Isabella): Photos
Isabella Quarter Dollar
Copyright: Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
Isabella Quarter Dollar
Copyright: Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
Coin, United States, Half Dollar 1939
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Quarter Dollar 1893 Columbian Exposition (Isabella): Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsUnited States KM# 115