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Description

Impressive 1796 No Stars BD-2 Quarter Eagle, XF40

1796 $2 1/2 No Stars XF40 PCGS. Breen-1, Breen-6113, Bass-3002, BD-2, High R.4. The No Stars obverse needs no further description. The reverse has short arrows that extend no further than the right base of N. Two distinct die varieties of the issue are known, with a total estimated mintage for both varieties of just 897 coins.
The current consensus is that BD-1, with about six examples known, were the first No Stars pieces coined in September 1796, with a total mintage of 66 pieces. Those were followed by this BD-2 variety, with an estimated population of 80 to 100 coins, from an estimated mintage of 897 coins. The first three deliveries of quarter eagles were 66 coins in September 21, 1796, 897 pieces on December 8, and 432 coins on January 14, 1797. Despite earlier estimates, the current number of survivors in each case is almost exactly 10% of the original mintages. John Dannreuther suggests that the first delivery of 66 coins was limited by the reverses die cracking, rather than a shortage of planchets. However, this cataloger believes just the opposite. At the time, each deposit of gold or silver was handled as a separate entity, the coins being delivered in the same order deposits were received. Therefore, it is almost certain that the 66 coins represented all the planchets available.
Quarter eagles were not a desirable denomination among gold coins, the public and commercial interests preferring half eagles, much like large cents were preferred over half cents. Perhaps the odd denomination to two dollars and fifty cents explains why. Production of quarter eagles, from time to time, may have been limited to special requests by depositors, or otherwise to balance a particular deposit.
This piece is light green-gold, with a small area of lighter yellow-gold on the obverse. The surfaces are noticeably abraded, but retain considerable luster on each side. It has the appearance of an AU coin at first glance, so was probably net graded by PCGS. It is an intermediate die state, with a light die crack in the left obverse field from the border at 9 o'clock. The lower curls are mostly complete, unlike the later lapped states where these curls are mere hair strands.
From The Casa Becca del Norté Collection.(Registry values: P10) (NGC ID# 25F2, PCGS# 7645)

View all of [The Casa Becca del Norté Collection ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2008
9th-12th
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