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    1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle, XF40
    BD-2, Popular and Essential One-Year Type

    1796 $2 1/2 No Stars on Obverse, BD-2, R.4, XF40 NGC. Ex: Hilt Collection. Bass-Dannreuther Die State d/b. The U.S. quarter dollar and quarter eagle share attributes beyond common terminology. The quarter dollar and quarter eagle denominations, silver and gold respectively, each made their debut from the fledgling U.S. Mint in 1796. The first quarter eagle issue, the 1796 No Stars, is a one-year type, as is the 1796 quarter dollar. Both the 1796 No Stars quarter eagles and the 1796 quarters are known in two distinct die varieties, although both issues are usually pursued as single-year type representatives rather than for variety purposes.

    Despite some common characteristics, in other ways the denominations diverged at their outset. While the 1796 quarter dollar displayed the Small Eagle reverse, the 1796 No Stars quarter eagle featured the Heraldic Eagle reverse -- the second major reverse design style among gold and silver coinage.

    The denominations differed as well in their subsequent history. While the Mint coined no more silver quarters until 1804 -- also a first-year type, as the denomination then bore the Heraldic Eagle reverse of 1804-1807 -- it made gold quarter eagles (or dated them with the year, more accurately) in eight of the first 12 years (inclusive) of the denomination, from 1796 through 1807.

    The 1796 No Stars quarter eagle is high on the want lists of many collectors as a gold first-year type coin. (Technically, the 1796 With Stars quarter eagle is also a first-year and one-year type -- the only quarter eagle issue having 16 obverse stars -- but it is seldom collected as such.) Heritage has been fortunate in the past to handle Gem specimens of both the With Stars and No Stars varieties of 1796, but the No Stars in particular is a popular and pursued issue at virtually every grade level.

    Only 897 pieces were struck of the No Stars variant with an estimated 100-125 pieces believed extant in all grades. This is a late die state with the die crack plainly visible from the obverse rim at 9 o'clock into the left field. The reverse shows a lump break at the upper tip of the right (facing) wing. A few light pinscratches can be found with a magnifier in the obverse fields, otherwise the surfaces are distraction-free. Even wear is seen over the high points. (NGC ID# 25F2, Variety PCGS# 45501, Base PCGS# 7645)

    Weight: 4.37 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

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

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2017
    4th-9th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 858

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