In 1838, the Capped Bust quarter was replaced with Mint Engraver Christian Gobrecht's Liberty Seated design which was already featured on the half dimes and dimes of the previous year. The obverse depicts Liberty seated on a rock, a shield with 'LIBERTY' written accross it in her right hand and a staff with a Liberty cap in her left; the date is written below her. Unlike the half dimes and dimes, the Liberty Seated Quarter first appeared with 13 stars surrounding Liberty. The reverse was slightly modified, most noticeably spelling out 'QUAR. DOL.' rather than displaying '25 C.' It features an eagle with a shield on it's chest. The eagle is holding arrows and an olive branch in it's talons. The legend 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA' is written around the eagle and the denomination, 'QUAR. DOL.' appears below it.
Liberty Seated, No Motto Above Eagle, with & without drapery (1838-1853,1856-1865)
The first type of Liberty Seated Quarter is referred to as Liberty Seated, No Motto Above Eagle, No Drapery. In 1839, artist Robert Ball Hughes was hired by the Mint to modify the design. Hughes reduced the size of the rock Liberty sits upon, stood her shield upright and added drapery over her left elbow. The reverse was not changed. This second type is referred to as Liberty Seated, No Motto Above Eagle, With Drapery.
Liberty Seated, Arrows at Date (1853-1855)
Production of the second type was interrupted from 1853 through 1855 when the weight of the quarter, along with all other silver coins, was reduced to keep the bullion value below the face value of the coin. These coins had arrowheads added on either side of the date to distinguish them.
Liberty Seated, Motto Above Eagle (1866-1873,1875-1891)
The Liberty Seated, No Motto Above Eagle Quarter was struck until the Mint Act of 1865 mandated that the motto 'IN GOD WE TRUST' appear on all gold and silver coins large enough to display it. In 1866, the motto 'IN GOD WE TRUST' was added to the reverse of the coin, above the eagle.
Liberty Seated, Arrows at Date (1873-1874)
In 1873, the weight of the Liberty Seated Quarter Dollar was increased from 6.22g to 6.25g as a result of the Mint's conversion to the metric system. Arrows were added to the sides of the date to designate the increase in weight while the Mint culled the older coins from circulation.