The 1916 Quarter…One Titilating Coin!

Back in 1915, shortly after World War 1 began, the US mint invited well known sculptors to submit designs for a new quarter, one to replace the Barber.  The winner, Herman A. McNeil, served up Miss Liberty in 1916, holding an olive branch in her right hand, a shield in her left and in the middle….a bare breast!

Mystery surrounds the reason for choosing this design, especially given the titilating obverse.  Typically the olive branch represented peace, the shield warfare and defense, but a bare breast? What were they thinking?

The sexy 1916 Standing Liberty and the more modest 1917

The sexy 1916 Standing Liberty and the more modest 1917

Anyway when these quarters were released to the public in January of 1917, religious leaders called them obscene, filthy and many conservative organizations demanded that the Mint recall them.  The Mint succumbed to the pressure and the coin disappeared from circulation, much to the dismay of Mr. McNeil.  He was forced to redesign Lady Liberty, and rather than simply pull the drape over her breast he added a suit of armor up to her neck to show his indignation.

Only fifty two thousand 1916 quarters were produced (Philadelphia mint only) and today they demand top dollar in pretty much any condition.


Now I don’t know about you but I think we should demand a little more feminism from the mint today. Our current coinage is dull and boring and I am just a little tired of Abe, George and Franklin D.  All great presidents for sure but hey let’s bring back the gals and add a little pizzazz! The Seated, Standing & Walking Liberty coins, the Mercury dime and large cents…classic designs and all women!.

If you agree with me contact the United States Mint and let them know we’d like to see a gal or two in the future, and if they can’t offer a bare breast tell them we’d be happy with a little bit of cleavage.



Well, Andy Baine (UK) contacted me a couple of days ago to let me know about his new blog, and how it was his aim to show that we can do things in the right way (which I took to mean we were somehow not doing it at present).  Anyway I was somewhat leery of Andy’s blog given that one of the two links listed was Warsaw Wally’s!  Adding to that were comments on Wally’s blog indicating that he helped Andy set up his blog (I’m sure with no ulterior motive mind you).

Anyway it didn’t take long for Andy’s best intentions to fall apart, and he quickly found out just who Warsaw Wally is and how he works. His posts today bear that out.  Andy, take heart my friend.  You are just one of many who have been insulted by Mr. Barford.  I highly recommend you ignore him and get on with sharing your detecting experiences. His  only goal is to put the detectorist out of business.  Hang in there…

Interesting too that Heritage Harry added the following to his blog today:

NOTE:  Currently we’re getting a spate of metal detectorist sockpuppetry aimed at this thread in particular, no doubt intended to  discourage recruits. We will delete them as we see them  but if you do see any please disregard them. They are not representative of the vast majority of visitors here. Thanks.

What this means is don’t bother to comment on my blog if you are not going to agree with me (as if anyone doesn’t already know that).  What a pair…Warsaw Wally and Heritage Harry. You can’t make this stuff up!



While most of the country is getting slammed with snow and ice the temps here were in the 60’s today and the weekend forecast promises highs in the mid 70’s. I’ve been feeling a little better physically the last couple of days (why do I know I am going to regret saying that) and hope to get in an hour or two of detecting Saturday or Sunday (my bottlecap collection needs attention).



John Howland just forwarded the following to me:

It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Colin Hanson, Honorary Secretary and driving force behind the UK’s Federation of Independent Detectorists, who died on the 27th January after a protracted and gallant fight against cancer. Colin had been FID’s Hon. Secretary since it’s inception in 1982 and fought long and hard to preserve the hobby we enjoy today.  He was also the leading light in organizing many fun-filled and enjoyable metal detecting rallies where, with his wife Elaine in full support, he took the rally scene in the UK to new heights.  RIP Colin.



Filed under Metal Detecting

15 responses to “The 1916 Quarter…One Titilating Coin!

  1. Roy Rutledge

    If perchance you do not collect enough bottlecaps please let me know posthaste and I will see if I can send some extras to you out of my extensive collection.

  2. Great post! I haven’t been around to long, but something tells me this is classic Dick Stout.

  3. Robbie

    You can get a 1oz silver round with the “bare” design. I bought a few from ebay.

    Didn’t take long at all for Andy to see the true nature of the 2 detecting “haters”.

  4. Gold Finger

    As a member of F.I.D I am saddened at the news of Colin’s death.
    Condolences to his family.

    There I was thinking for years, that all Americans were prudish, after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl. In my mind she would have looked fabulous on any coin.

  5. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Sorry to hear about Collin’s passing. I am sure he was loved by many and by the sound of it – there are plenty of great memories!

    I am all for your idea. Our coinage is very boring and it is time to give us something more pleasing to the eye. I also like your thought that a risqué type of image would promote us carrying more change around.

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