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Description

Classic Rarity 1796 Quarter, B-2, MS64

1796 25C MS64 NGC. B-2, R.3. The quarter was an inherently difficult coin to produce in 1796. The specified weight was 6.74 grams, with a composition of .8924 silver and .1076 copper. The designed diameter of the coin was 27.5 mm. The edge was reeded. To contain the specified amount of metal in a coin with such a large diameter the planchets had to be unusually thin. The planchets were cut from sheets of metal of the required composition that were repeatedly drawn through horse-powered rollers. The distance between the rollers was reduced with each pass until the desired thickness was attained. Before each pass, the metal sheets were annealed to make the metal softer and more ductile.
It was necessary to repeat this process more times than usual to prepare the quarter planchets. In addition to the extra work involved in rolling, many of the planchets became brittle because of the repeated annealing. When the coins were struck on the screw press, some of the brittle planchets developed edge splits, and small pieces of metal broke off. The effects of this process can be seen on many 1796 quarters today.
The strike is particularly sharp on this example, especially on the obverse. Crisp detail shows in all devices, even star centrils and hair strands are bold. The reverse has a better than average strike, with some detail showing on the eagle's head. The eagle's nostril shows plainly, a detail rarely seen on this variety. The fields are free of distractions, and lovely lilac and gray toning accents both sides. Stunning eye appeal. This coin, although unlisted there, would be tied for fourth place in the Condition Census as presented by Steve Tompkins in his new reference.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 23RA, PCGS# 5310)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2009
28th-3rd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
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Page Views: 1,300

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