- The production of coinage during the early years of the United States Mint can largely be described as erratic, with the nation's main coining operations hindered by a motley crew of impediments. Among these troubles during the first three decades of the United States Mint, established in 1792, were yellow fever, resignations of top figures, funding issues, a fire, and scarce supplies of silver. These and other factors are just some of the reasons most of the nation's early coin series, struck from 1793 through the 1830s, saw inconsistent production runs and multi-year gaps between the issuance of coins across many denominations.
Capped Bust quarter, 1815 25C, PCGS MS66+
Such was certainly the case with the quarter-dollar, a denomination that was first struck in 1796, produced for a short stint once more from 1804 through 1807, and placed on a protracted hiatus yet again from 1808 through 1814. This halt in quarter production only further exacerbated an ongoing shortage of circulating Federal coins, which were supplemented in commerce at the time by the presence of coins from other nations as well as privately minted tokens that were accepted by many merchants.
Though the urgency for new United States coin was dire, the resumption of quarter dollar coinage in 1815 stemmed from an order made by Planters Bank in New Orleans, which had on hand a large number of Mexico 8 Reales silver coins, which were one of the most widely circulating non-United States coins of that time. The bank quartered these Reales, as was then common to create small change, and counterstamped these pieces with the Planters Bank seal. Bank officials insisted the U.S. Mint convert the silver into an equitable value of quarter-dollars - something mint officials initially resisted before giving in and cutting dies for new quarters to fulfill the order. The 1815 Capped Bust quarters
were soon produced and the bulk of the mintage shipped to Planters Bank.Read the Entire Article