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Pleasing, Well-Centered 1796 B-2 Quarter VF30

1796 25C VF30 PCGS. B-2, R.3. This is the High 6 variety, with the top of the digit 6 touching the drapery. The obverse of this example is perfect, with no die cracks through LIBERTY. On the rare late-state examples, several heavy die cracks are seen through ERTY and star 9. The 1796 quarter dollars were the first of the denomination, coined to the extent of 6,146 coins from a combination of two obverse dies and one reverse die. They were struck in four batches, with deliveries dated April 9, 1796 (1,800); May 27, 1796 (2,530); June 14, 1796 (1,564); and February 28, 1797 (252). The long delay between the third and fourth deliveries was due in part to the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, which closed the Mint in late summer each year for the first several years of operation. The relative rarity of the two varieties suggests that the first delivery consisted of the Browning-1 coins, and the remaining deliveries were the Browning-2 examples. This assumes, of course, that Browning-1 was the first to be struck. Robert Hilt believed otherwise and suggested that the B-1 coins were actually not struck until 1804.
This example is a wonderful coin with exceptional eye appeal. The surfaces are natural light gray, with pale ivory devices and deeper steel-gray near the borders. The usual quota of tiny circulation marks and blemishes is present, but none of them are distracting. It is a well-centered impression with wide and fully detailed borders on both sides. The eagle's head is weak, but this is a characteristic common to nearly every example of the date, regardless of the variety.
From The Ron W. Keeney Collection, Part Two.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 23RA, PCGS# 5310)

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Auction Dates
August, 2006
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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