Ronnie writes: Is there any value to a 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar? Also why is it that my coin contains the legend – E PLVRIBVS VNVM? My research states that it should have the words – E PLURIBUS UNUM.
There are two U.S. quarter designs in 1916. This year was the transition from the Barber quarter to the Standing Liberty quarter. The Barber quarter, called this by numismatist after the designer, Charles E. Barber and features a head of Liberty on the obverse and an eagle with outstretched wings on the reverse. The ribbon in the eagles mouth shows the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM.
In the Standing Liberty design which was issued at the end of 1916, The motto is spelled with the proper Latin spelling as E PLVRIBVS UVNVM. There is no letter “U” in the Latin alphabet. That letter is served by “V”, therefore the alternate spelling. The use of the Latin “V” instead of the English, “U” carries over to other coins of this era as a stylistic consideration and is not an error. For example, the motto on the Peace Dollar (1921-1935) is spelled “IN GOD WE TRVST”.
The 1916 Standing Liberty quarter is a key coin of this series because of its extremely low mintage and the fact that public’s prudish rejection of the naked breast on Liberty established a unique variety. Only a month later, in January of 1917 was her breast covered with shirt of mail or armor. Value depends on grade (condition). Approximate range: $2,200 – $30,000 or more.
For more information about Barber quarters and Standing Liberty quarters, see the CoinSite’s History of U.S. Coins.