The 1916 is unique in the series in several respects, not least among them the fact that it is the only date showing, what was at the time of issue, a knowingly unfinished design. Although nearly identical to MacNeil’s original models, the Mint produced a significantly lower relief coin with an inferior level of sharpness. Trial impressions of this version were initially approved by Mint Director F.H. von Engelken, but correspondence suggests that the director had later become unhappy with the softness of the obverse details. By the time improvements were made to the sharpness of the design, the engraving department was preparing 1917-dated hubs and the improvements were only implemented on hubs for 1917 coinage. A token quantity of 52,000 Standing Liberty quarters was struck at the tail end of 1916. This issue is now regarded as one of the most significant key dates in the series. In hand, the surfaces are considerably lighter and more lustrous looking. The NGC population stands at just four with none higher.
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