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    Key-Date 1896-S Gem Quarter

    1896-S 25C MS65 NGC. Obverse Die 2, Reverse Die 2, from David Lawrence's The Complete Guide to Barber Quarters.
    As one of the great triumvirate of key dates in the Barber quarter series, along with the 1901-S and 1913-S, the 1896-S is the first issue that is truly rare in Fine/Very Fine and higher grades. Lawrence assigns an R.5 rating to Fine/Very Fine coins, an R.6 to XF and Mint State (presumably lower-Mint State) pieces, and an R.7 to AU examples of this issue. As of (10/06), NGC has graded a total of 29 examples in all Mint State grades, while PCGS has graded 28 Mint State examples. (Both figures undoubtedly include multiple resubmissions.) This beautiful coin is nearly among the finest graded, exceeded only by a single example at each service (an MS66 at PCGS, and an MS67 at NGC).
    The surfaces on this Gem example are basically brilliant, although the careful viewer might detect a slight ice-blue cast on each side. The luster is intense and unbroken, although there is little field/device contrast noted. Under a loupe, only a few light, undistracting abrasions can be seen on Liberty's cheek and neck, which are mentioned only because they collectively appear to limit an even higher grade. Few other mentionable contact marks are seen, save for a couple of tiny ticks on the shield stripes. The strike is well executed, notably on the often-weak right (facing) shield border and the eagle's left (right facing) claw, with the only mentionable quibble being some slight softness on the upper left (right facing) wing. This is a rare opportunity to obtain one of the finest examples of this issue, a coin that will contribute greatly to a superb set of Barber coinage.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 23Y9, PCGS# 5615)

    Weight: 6.25 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2006
    29th-30th Wednesday-Thursday
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