The Shield Earring design of George T. Morgan. A youthful Liberty faces right wearing a band with the usual inscription, the band compressing the back portion of her hair. She wears a shield-shaped earring, with stars six left, seven right, date 1882 below. On the reverse a perched, defiant eagle occupies the center, clutching an olive branch and arrows. The reverse design is reminiscent of the Flying Eagle cent obverse and the Gobrecht dollar reverse, although the eagle faces right. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and QUARTER DOLLAR are the peripheral legends. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
The Shield Earring quarter, half, and dollar designs--especially in their native metal, silver--are among the most beautiful and coveted pattern designs of the late 19th century. Pattern specialists generally consider the 1872 Amazonian, the 1879 Schoolgirl, and the 1882 Shield Earring designs to be the most beautiful, but of the three the Shield Earring is the rarest overall.