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    Description

    Authentic 1796 With Stars Quarter Eagle, BD-3

    1796 $2 1/2 Stars Genuine PCGS. BD-3, High R.5. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b with a faint die crack through the left-side obverse stars. The PCGS number ending in .94 suggests Altered Surfaces as the reason, or perhaps one of the reasons, that PCGS deemed this coin not gradable. In our opinion, this coin has the details of an AU specimen with altered surfaces. Faintly hairlined, and the pale apricot obverse is subdued. The reverse is canary-gold and has greater eye appeal. The major devices exhibit luster, which is more extensive on the reverse. The obverse has faint adjustment marks (as made), visible only on the top of the cap and portions of the border, most prominent near 3 o'clock. Post-strike marks are absent except for a single pinscratch near the U in UNITED.
    1796 was the first year of the quarter eagle denomination, lagging the eagle and half eagle both initially coined in 1795. The smaller diameter of the quarter eagle presumably caused the Mint to omit obverse stars on the first two varieties, BD-1 and BD-2. The Mint reversed course and added stars to the obverse of the final 1796 variety, BD-3, probably to keep the designs consistent across the three legislated gold denominations. Precedent was already established for the presence of obverse stars on small diameter silver denominations, such as the half dime and dime.
    Although famous as a rare single-year design type, the 1796 No Stars is actually more plentiful than its 1796 Stars counterpart. In 2006, John Dannreuther estimated there are 100 to 125 examples known of the BD-2 No Stars, while BD-3 is known by only 40 to 50 pieces. The Guide Book reports a mintage of 432 pieces for the 1796 Stars quarter eagle, which indicates that only approximately 10% of the original mintage survived subsequent melts. As of (3/10), PCGS has certified 20 pieces, with only three in Mint State. It is likely that some of those 20 pieces represent resubmissions over the past 25 years.(Registry values: P10, N10)


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

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    Auction Dates
    Apr-May, 2010
    28th-2nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 31
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