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Sumptuous Choice XF 1796 Quarter, B-2

1796 25C XF45 PCGS. B-2, R.3. The more available of the two die pairings for the issue, with even spacing on the date and the 6 high relative to the B-1 obverse. On the reverse, the small eagle shows indistinctness at the head, a trait more frequently associated with the B-2 pieces than their B-1 counterparts. Of course, each variety is scarce in an absolute sense, and overwhelming demand for examples of the only 18th century quarter has rendered the B-2 the die pairing of choice for most type collectors, who leave B-1 coins to the specialists.
In the early years of the United States Mint, the quarter dollar was a neglected denomination. With so many two reales coins and "two-bit" wedges circulating in the former colonies, the American equivalent faced stiff competition, and by imitating the Spanish standard, the Mint created no incentive for individuals to turn the pieces in for recoinage. The result, Neil Carothers wrote in his Fractional Money, was a dismal situation: "The hopes of Jefferson and Hamilton that a domestic coinage would displace foreign gold and silver were not realized in their time. The coinage was very small, and the [M]int was regarded as a costly failure."
This Choice XF representative is well-defined by the standards of the issue. The surfaces are richly toned violet and slate-blue with paler silver-gray at the lightly worn highpoints. The surfaces are pleasingly preserved, with no individually mentionable marks or abrasions on either side. With its excellent visual appeal and inherent desirability, this is a coin that should inspire spirited bidding.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 23RA, PCGS# 5310)

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Auction Dates
January, 2008
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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