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Significant 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle AU55

1796 $2 1/2 No Stars AU55 PCGS. Breen-6113, Bass-3002, R.5. The first Quarter Eagles produced by the United States Mint emerged from the presses on September 22, 1796. The 66 coins delivered that day were joined by 897 examples on December 8 of that year. The combined production of 963 coins represents the entire mintage of the 1796 No Stars type--a feature that sets survivors apart from those of the later deliveries in the Capped Bust Right Quarter Eagle series. In addition to its distinctions as a first-year coin and a one-year type, the 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle is also desirable as the first gold or silver coin produced at the fledgling Mint to display a heraldic eagle on the reverse.
Optimistic estimates have traditionally been given for the number of surviving 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagles. Only Borckardt's figure of 80-110 coins in the November 2000 catalog for part IV of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection seems realistic based on auction appearances and census reports by the major grading services. When viewed in the wider context of U.S. numismatics the unflagging popularity and strong performance of survivors perhaps makes such debates about the number of coins extant superfluous.
Often found with localized weakness in the peripheral areas, the present example boasts uncommonly bold definition on all the lettering and reveals only a touch of softness on the eagle's right (facing) wingtip. The obverse has a few blushes of coppery patina scattered about which helps lessen the effect of minor pinscratches and contact marks. Light adjustment marks at the center of the reverse render the eagle's breast and shield a trifle indistinct. Luster is particularly vibrant on this better protected side. The appearance of a 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle never fails to be a noteworthy occasion for advanced gold collectors, and we anticipate keen interest in this splendid high grade specimen.
From The Cincinnati Collection.(#7645)(Registry values: P10) (NGC ID# 25F2, PCGS# 7645)

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Auction Dates
January, 2005
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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