Among all of the famous coins which have been highly sought after in history, no coin has perhaps had as much speculation as the Bare-Breasted Liberty Quarter. As the name implies, the Lady of Liberty is set on the coin wearing a robe and holding an olive branch in one hand and a shield in the other hand. Her robe has slipped off one of her shoulders and exposed her breasts, which has fueled much speculation and questions over the years over why this is the case and what the symbolism means. The coin itself was designed by Hermon A. McNeill as part of a competition which was held for new designs. It is said that once McNeill found out his coin was to be accepted he objected for a time but this has never been substantiated.
Many individuals believe that McNeill was inspired by wartime propaganda and that he could have been saying any number of things including, “come get your succor from the breast of the world’s mother” or “I come in peace, opening myself to you in earnestness”. However, regardless of why he designed the coin, it has nonetheless risen through time to become one of the most questioned and sought after coins. Despite this, the coin itself was delayed in production for a time and it is not known why.
However, despite the delay the coin was finally released in 1916 and 52,000 pieces left the Mint on December 29, 1916. These particular coins were made at the Philadelphia factory but it was not long before the other areas including San Francisco and Denver began making their own. However, the moment the coins hit the public there were cries of shame and outrage. Many individuals called out to Congress to halt the coins and remove them from circulation.