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1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle, VF30
BD-2, Totally Original Surfaces

1796 $2 1/2 No Stars VF30 PCGS. BD-2, R.4. The fledgling Mint was spread quite thin in 1796, but even so, it was the first year since the operation began that every authorized circulating denomination, from half cent through eagle, was struck in some amount. (The next time this would happen would be in 1849.)

In the case of the 1796 No Stars quarter eagles it would be a minuscule amount indeed, a reported 963 pieces split between the two die varieties known today. The Bass-Dannreuther reference succinctly says of the 1796 No Stars quarter eagle:

"This one-year type coin has been in demand among collectors of U.S. coins since the dawn of collecting in the early to mid part of the 19th century. By the time there was an organized marketplace a number of years later, these first quarter eagles were hammered down and sold after lengthy floor battles among the bidders, mostly dealers representing collectors, as they always had this coin on their want list."

No exact mintage figure can be given for the two varieties of 1796 No Stars, despite the existence of two deliveries of 66 coins and 897 coins that some have equated to the two varieties. But some of the 432 coins delivered in January 1797 could have been of the 1796 No Stars rather than the 1796 With Stars; or, as Bass-Dannreuther point out, some of the 897 coins could have been the With Stars variety, so that fewer than 963 of the No Stars varieties were struck.

This example had obviously stayed in circulation for many years, or as the BD reference above states until the demand from an organized marketplace caught up with the meager supply of these pieces. The surfaces show even wear over each side. There are no traces of cleaning, as one might expect, and both obverse and reverse display unquestionably original "old gold" color with deeper accents within and surrounding the devices. Only the slightest handling marks can be seen, and there are no large or distracting abrasions present. This is an excellent, lower-grade example of this one-year type.(Registry values: P10) (NGC ID# 25F2, PCGS# 7645)

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Auction Dates
December, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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