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    Description

    1796 Stars Quarter Eagle, BD-3
    Rare and Important Early Type Coin

    1796 $2 1/2 Stars on Obverse, BD-3, High R.5, PCGS Genuine. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/a. 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 lightly whizzed surfaces. Faintly hairlined, the pale apricot-gold obverse is a bit subdued. The reverse displays canary-gold color and has greater sharpness and eye appeal. The major devices exhibit luster, which is more extensive on the reverse. The obverse shows a few faint adjustment marks (as made), visible only on the top of the cap and portions of the border, most prominent near 3 o'clock. Perhaps adjustment marks were the reason for the noted surface alteration. Post-strike marks are largely 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, which were both initially coined in 1795. The smaller diameter of the quarter eagle may have caused the Mint to omit obverse stars on the first two varieties, BD-1 and BD-2, or perhaps it was simply a matter of expediency. The Mint reversed course and added 16 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 arguably more famous, the 1796 No Stars is actually more plentiful than its 1796 Stars counterpart. John Dannreuther estimates there are 100 to 125 examples known of the BD-2 No Stars, while BD-3 With Stars 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.
    From The Poulos Family Collection, Part II.


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

    View all of [The Poulos Family Collection, Part II ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    5th-8th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 33
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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