1796 Quarter Dollar, B-2, AU58
1796 25C AU58 Prooflike NGC. B-2, R.3. The Draped Bust Small
Eagle quarter dollar, bearing the date 1796, is struck from two
obverse dies and one reverse die. The following identifiers confirm
the more frequently seen B-2 variety: the 7 and 6 in the date are
both high, the T and Y in LIBERTY do not touch, and star 15 is
relatively far from the drapery.
A Sharp One-Year Type Coin
The 1796 quarter dollar is a one-year type coin and one of the keys to completing an advanced collection of U.S. coins by design type. It ranks fifth in terms of reported mintage (6,146 pieces) of early (18th and 19th century) American type coins behind the 1796 No Stars quarter eagle (963 pieces), the Gobrecht silver dollar (about 1,900 pieces), the 1808 quarter eagle (2,710 pieces), and the Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar (3,918 pieces).
Four deliveries comprise the 1796 quarter dollar mintage:
Warrant # 61 April 9, 1796 1,800 coins
Warrant # 63 May 27, 1796 2,530 coins
Warrant # 65 June 14, 1796 1,564 coins
Warrant # 81 Feb. 28, 1797 252 coins
Total 6,146 coins
A high number of this mintage was apparently saved as the 1796 is relatively available in all grades. Walter Breen (1988) contends that Co. E.H.R. Green amassed "a hoard of over 200 uncirculated 1796 quarter dollars." Steve Tompkins (2008), citing comments in Abe Kosoff Remembers puts the Green hoard at around 100 uncirculated pieces. Tompkins also suggests that a large number of 1796s may have been saved by the Bank of the United States.
The near-Mint State example in the present lot is an excellent choice for an advanced type collection. Its silver-gray surfaces retain ample luster and are tinted with light tan and soft bluish-gray. The design elements exhibit bold definition and are nicely centered on the planchet. All of the dentils are crisp, an attribute characteristic of the design type. A prominent toning spot just left of the F in OF will help to pedigree the piece. In sum, this is a most pleasing example of this classic piece of Americana. Census: 20 in 58, 32 finer (3/13).(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 23RA, PCGS# 5310)
Weight: 6.74 grams
Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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