Rare 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle, AU58 PCGS1796 $2 1/2 No Stars AU58 PCGS. Bass-3002, R.5. There are two known die marriages of the 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle and they are most easily distinguished by the proximity of the eagle's left (facing) talon to the U in UNITED. This issue has three distinctions: It is the first precious-metal coin without stars issued for circulation by the U.S. prior to 1836; it is the first U.S. coin to display a heraldic eagle on the reverse; and it is the first to display sixteen reverse stars in honor of Tennessee's admission to the Union. Of course, the 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle is also well known as a rare one-year type with an original mintage of just 963 pieces, few of which exist today. All of these coins were delivered to the Bank of the United States, the institution that most likely deposited the bullion for coinage.
The contracts that resulted in the Mint's production of 66 No Stars examples pursuant to Warrant 75 on September 22, 1796 and a further 897 pieces per Warrant 77 on December 8 of the same year seem to have stipulated very short turn around times between deposit of the bullion and delivery of the coins. This probably explains why so many extant 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagles display signs of hasty workmanship. Unevenness of strike prevails on most of these coins, with the centers being particularly soft in detail. On some specimens planchet problems are seen. Of course, such considerations are secondary when one considers the awesome rarity of this issue.
This near-Mint representative, while a bit soft in the hair near Liberty's ear and on the eagle's breast feathers, is actually a bit sharper than normally seen. The peripheral design elements are bold, and the dentilation is virtually complete. Likewise, the design features are well centered on the planchet. Rich orange-gold and yellow-gold patina visits the obverse, while the yellow-gold reverse has blushes of coppery patina on the highpoints. Ample luster is retained in the protected areas, and the surfaces are remarkably clean and devoid of any mentionable abrasions. There are no adjustment marks. Any offering of this prized Quarter Eagle rarity is certain to inspire considerable interest among serious collectors of U.S. coins and Americana. Population: 30 in 58, 6 finer (11/04).(#7645) (Registry values: P10) (NGC ID# 25F2, PCGS# 7645)
Weight: 4.37 grams
Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper
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