The $2 1/2 Liberty gold coin can be looked at as the workhorse of early American gold coinage. This denomination was minted most years for circulation from the late 1700's to 1907. Along the way there were several design changes as well as a few artist's hands involved in the evolution to what became the final design, which saw production from 1840 to 1907. This design, by Christian Gobrecht is the most common found today.
The value of of $2 1/2 or 250 cents, held a sizable amount of purchasing power for day-to-day needs and financial transactions, and both bankers and common townfolk often preferred a single small gold coin to carrying larger U.S. Silver Dollars or the necessary combination of smaller silver coins to amass 250 cents. For this reason among others finding a "Mint State" or uncirculated $2 1/2 Liberty is not common, and even common date coins of this denomination carry a significant premium over the value of the gold contained in the coin, especially relative to small modern gold bullion coins.
The Potential for Creating Profit by Owning $2 1/2 Liberty Head Gold Coins
One of the perhaps unexpected benefits of these small gold coins seeing common use for day to day purchases and debt settlements is that the majority of these coins were worn, scratched, dented, and otherwise defaced through normal use, resulting in coins that are now far from the original striking mint condition that was attained through careful die manufacturing and coin pressing techniques. Because of this, there are relatively few of these $2 1/2 Liberty gold coins left today that will grade into XF (Extremely Fine) or Mint State conditions. Being that these coins contain .12094 ounces of gold, much of the value of this coin is carried in the fact that it is rare and in a desirable condition.
When you compare the increase in value of this fractional (having a face value of less than one dollar) to the increase in value of it’s historical silver counterparts, the increase in value is pronounced and staggering.
For instance, when these coins were first struck, they had a value equal to roughly two and a half ounces of silver. The value of those common date silver coins today would equal somewhere in the neighborhood of one fifth of the value of a common date XF grade $2 1/2 Liberty gold coin, thus showing an outpacing in growth of value of almost 5 to 1 over it’s silver counterparts.
In addition to having increased in value substantially over other old U.S. Coinage, the $2 1/2 Liberty easily meets the necessary criteria to be classified as a numismatic coin, and therefore enjoys a different classification by the Internal Revenue Service as a collectible. Collectible coins can be used not only as a currency for their gold content, but they currently have certain advantages over modern bullion coins as far as reportability and tax events. ITM Trading suggests that you consult a tax adviser familiar with the particular laws in your state when placing rare and numismatic coins into a portfolio designed to be passed on to heirs and loved ones in order to understand and gain the maximum benefits possible.
Christian Gobrecht did not create a new design for the $2 1/2 Liberty, he simply provided his interpretation to update the popular gold piece. The design is nearly identical to his design for the larger $5 Liberty. The front, or obverse side of the coin bares "Lady Liberty" wearing a coronet which would be more commonly called a tiara today. Because of this, you may hear this coin referred to as a "Coronet". Across the coronet, but heavily sided to the left, is the word "Liberty". Lady Liberty herself is facing left on the coin, and locks of her hair are flowing out of the bun of hair tied neatly on the top of her head. This design was seen as much more casual and modern than the previous artistic versions of Lady Liberty which included a version of her wearing a turban. At the time of the coin's introduction, critics noted that the word "Liberty" would not be fully visible on her coronet if the artwork was truly representative of reality because any writing on her coronet would be centered and only partially visible on a cameo type pose.
The reverse, or back of the coin features an eagle holding 3 arrows in it's left talon, and a curling olive branch in it's right talon. A small shield covers the eagle's chest, and on the shield are 13 vertical stripes, one for each of the original 13 U.S. Colonies. The words "United States Of America" are wrapped in a circular fashion around the outer circumference of the coin and "2 1/2 D." is embossed in a fine raised lettering under the eagle.
Composition and Specifications
Gobrecht’s version of the $2 1/2 Liberty was composed of 90% Gold and 10% copper, both of which were required to be produced in the U.S.A. to conform to Congressional legislation. The Diameter of the coin is 18mm, and the gold weight of the coin is .12094 ounces.
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