In 1900, President McKinley signed into action the gold standard act, putting an end to the US practice of bimetallism. The move established gold as the only basis for paper money in the United States but was met with considerable pushback leading up to its ratification. Perhaps the most famous moment from the anti-gold standard side was when William Jennings Bryan gave his “Cross of Gold” speech during the Democratic National Convention of 1896. In his speech, Bryan famously declared, "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." The popularity of the speech secured Bryan the Democratic nomination though he would lose the presidential race to the pro-gold McKinley. This 1900 quarter eagle recalls a milestone year in the history of gold.
Proof Liberty Quarter Eagles were struck in the Philadelphia Mint almost every year from 1840 through 1907. All issues in this long-running proof gold series are rare, but the most elusive are those delivered prior to 1859 and during the chaotic years of the Civil War. Perhaps the most instantly recognizeable rarity in this series is the 1841 - the legendary, proof-only "Little Princess."