For the initial years of the Classic Head Quarter Eagle series from 1834 to 1836, the coins were struck with a composition of 89.92% gold and 10.08% copper and silver.
A slightly different composition was used for the coins struck from 1837 until the conclusion of the series in 1839. After the passage of the Mint Act of 1837, the gold purity was changed to 90%. The remaining 10% was to be made up of copper and silver, with no more than 5% silver.
The slight alteration in composition during the series had a very minimal influence on the weight. As such, the given weight of all dates is 4.18 grams (64.50 grains), as had been specified by the Mint act of 1837. All issues have a reeded edge and a diameter of 18.2 mm.
The mint mark, for the issues minted at the Branch Mints in 1838 and 1839, is located on the obverse, just above the date. This makes it one of the very few United States coins of this era to have a mint mark placed on the obverse.