1815 25C E Counterstamp MS62 NGC. B-1, R1 (considered R5 with the counterstamp). Population (PCGS 6/34, NGC 10/38).
Following a delivery of 220,643 pieces in 1807, the Philadelphia Mint idled its quarter dollar presses in favor of the half dollar denomination. Then the 1815 quarter, the premier issue of John Reich's large sized Capped Bust quarter type, was introduced. While it is popular for first-year type purposes, the 1815 is probably more desirable as a low mintage, conditionally challenging date produced from a single obverse and reverse die marriage, thus only one variety is known. The mintage comprised 69,232 pieces that were delivered December 16 of 1815, and 20,003 coins delivered January 10, 1816, which was the first day after the Mint reopened and the day before the fire which destroyed the apparatus for making gold and silver planchets. As a result of the fire the following day, no quarters were struck in 1816 or 1817.
Quarters dated 1815 and 1825 are both known with E counter-stamps and L counter-stamps. Although a number of explanations have been provided by numismatic researchers over many years, none have positively shown the who, what, where, and why of these mysterious marks. On both dates, the E counter-stamp is always located immediately over the top fold of the cap, and the L counter-stamp is always located left of the top fold. Most examples have a slight bulge on the reverse exactly opposite the mark, showing slight movement of the metal, although this example has an undetectable movement of the metal.
A recent suggestion by one researcher associated the E counter-stamps with the Economites of Western Pennsylvania, and the L counter-stamps with the Leonites, both groups active in the 19th century. This highly lustrous and mostly brilliant example has silver-white color at the centers, with vivid gold and pale blue toning near the borders. It is sharply struck with just a touch of wear and minor surface marks. Highly attractive and exceptionally popular.