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    Description

    Select Mint State B-2 1796 Quarter
    Ever-Popular One-Year Type

    1796 25C MS63 PCGS Secure. B-2, R.3. Though the Joseph Wright quarter dollar patterns had been struck in 1792, the first official U.S. Mint quarter dollars were not produced until 1796. As Steve M. Tompkins notes in Early United States Quarters, "The quarter denomination was struck sporadically in the early years with years of low production and many years of no production at all."
    Tompkins cites depositors as the key reason: Without their bullion, no coinage of either gold or silver would take place, and depositors decided what denominations they wanted, not the Mint. The Spanish colonial equivalent of the U.S. quarter dollar, the two reales denomination, was abundant in commerce, so there was no need to add American coins to the mix. He adds: "In fact, the new quarter denomination was not only unneeded, it was in all probability unwanted as well. ... The last of these 1796[-dated] coins were struck in early 1797 and due to these and other issues, quarters would not be struck for another seven years."
    As much as the 1796 quarters may have been unwanted at the time of release, certainly they are prized now, no matter the grade. A Mint State coin, of course, makes ownership that much sweeter, and the 1796 quarter is a condition rarity at the Select level embodied by this lot. Green-gold, peach, gunmetal-blue, and violet shades appear in varying quantities on each side, and the full luster underneath is watery and semireflective. Wispy abrasions are grade-consistent, and while the fingerprint pattern in the right obverse field would be a detriment on many coins, here it adds to the character of the piece. Population: 10 in 63, 12 finer (11/11).
    From The Marilou Collection.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 23RA, PCGS# 5310)


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2012
    3rd-8th Tuesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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