The 1804 Draped Bust Quarter (Buy on eBay) represents the second year of issue for both the denomination and series, struck after a lengthy gap in production. The coins feature the original obverse design, but with the number of stars reduced from fifteen to thirteen. A new reverse design featuring the heraldic eagle was adopted starting this year, creating a separate subtype.
The issue carries a mintage of 6,738 pieces, only slightly higher than the prior issue of 1796, which is recognized as a major key date. Compared to the prior issue, far fewer examples of the coin were initially saved, resulting in a greater proportion of surviving coins in circulated condition.
Demand for this issue is lower than for the 1796 quarter, since type set collectors have the option of pursuing the subsequent higher mintage issues for an example of the subtype. However, high-quality examples offered for sale attract substantial attention from collectors.
Uncirculated examples are true rarities and seldom offered for sale, as are truly attractive specimens with original toning. Above average examples can easily sell for multiples of of the price achieved for average examples, as many people realize the value that can be found in original and historic coins.
The single finest certified 1804 Quarter, graded NGC MS 65 and pedigreed to Colonel E.H.R. Green, sold for $310,500 at an auction held in April 2008.