B-1 1796 Quarter, Choice XF
1796 25C XF45 NGC. B-1, R.4. The rarer of the two varieties,
it is attributed by a low 6 in the date, a lump between the 9 and
the dentil, the date not equally spaced, with the 7 and 9 too
close, the lower right star almost touching the drapery, and the
upright of E in LIBERTY centered over the curl. Both varieties
share the same reverse.
Attractive and Problem-Free
The quarter dollar was struck on an irregular basis during the early years of the Mint. Coinage was low in some years, while others saw no production at all. Steve Tompkins writes in his recent treatise Early United States Quarters, 1796-1838:
"This was due in part to the actual needs of commerce, but added to this was a lack of the mint having a bullion fund to purchase silver and the need to process and strike each deposit in the order it was received. The mint was at the mercy of the depositor. If bullion was not deposited to be coined, the mint would sit idle. The depositor was also the one who determined what denomination they wished to have their deposit coined it to. There was a glut of Spanish colonial silver 2 Reales already in circulation. Many of these pieces even being very worn, traded at par, so the need was small for new coins of the quarter denomination. Consequently, few depositors wished to have their deposits returned in quarter dollars."
"In fact, the new quarter denomination was not only unneeded, it was in all probability unwanted as well. Due to the lack of a denomination stated on the coin, the public even had trouble knowing what it was worth and how to use it for making change in daily commerce."
Medium intensity golden-gray patination in the fields with electric-blue accents highlights slightly the lighter gray central motifs of this Choice XF offering. The design elements are appropriately defined, including the typical boldness of the dentilation. Both sides are remarkably clean for a coin having experienced some circulation, and both are devoid of adjustment marks. In summary, this piece will be a wonderful addition to the collection of a type or date collector.(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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