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    1796 With Stars Two and a Half, AU58
    BD-3, Only 40-50 Pieces Believed Known in All Grades

    1796 $2 1/2 Stars on Obverse, BD-3, High R.5, AU58 NGC. Bass-Dannreuther Die State e. The 1796 With Stars quarter eagle is not only a first-year issue of some rarity, it is also a one-year type coin, the only 16 Star obverse in the entire Capped Bust Right series. The Capped Bust Right quarter eagles run from 1796 only through 1807.

    The 1796 With Stars quarter eagles were made from dies prepared after Tennessee joined the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796, the coins struck after their No Stars counterparts. Numismatists usually peg the delivery of January 14, 1797, of 432 coins as the 1796 With Stars quarter eagles, leading to the mintage estimate normally given. The With Stars quarter eagles shared the same reverse die with the earlier-struck 1796 No Stars quarter eagles of the Normal Arrows or BD-2 variety. The 1796 No Stars quarter eagles were struck to the extent of about 963 pieces, more than twice that of the With Stars 1796 quarter eagles. Today, John Dannreuther estimates that only 40 to 50 examples of the 1796 With Stars survive, compared to 100 to 125 survivors of the BD-2 1796 No Stars. The 1796 No Stars quarter eagle is in intense demand as a first-year type. But far more are available, and in higher grades overall, than the 1796 With Stars -- which, as mentioned, is also a first-year and one-year type, although frequently unrecognized as such.

    The year 1796 in American numismatics, broadly speaking, holds many charms for serious numismatists. The year was the first in which the Mint struck every authorized coinage denomination from the half cent through the eagle -- 10 different denominations in all. Nonetheless, most of the issues are rare and some extremely rare, such as the 1796 half dollars and the 1796 No Pole half cents.

    This is the final die state and all the cracks mentioned in the BD reference show on this piece, making an interesting study in die deterioration. At the AU58 level, this is one of the finer examples known and obtainable of the rare With Stars quarter eagle. Both services combined have only certified 16 pieces in higher grades. The surfaces are bright yellow-gold with a few scattered planchet flakes evident when closely examined. The strike details are remarkably strong with just the slightest high-point softness evident.
    From The Liberty USA Collection. (NGC ID# BFVN, Variety PCGS# 45502, Base PCGS# 7647)

    Weight: 4.37 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


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

    View all of [The Liberty USA Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
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