Coin Specifications

Category: Early $2.50 (1796-1834)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 963
Catalog: KM-27
Obverse Designer: Robert Scot
Reverse Designer: Robert Scot
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9160
Weight: 4.3700g
AGW: 0.1287oz
Melt Value: $168.46 (7/26/2014)
Diameter: 20mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1796 NO STARS $2.5 MS obverse 1796 NO STARS $2.5 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

While the 1796 With Stars quarter eagle is rarer as a variety, with an estimated mintage of 432 pieces versus 963 coins (both BD-1 and BD-2) for the 1796 No Stars, the With Stars quarter eagle is grouped as a type with the 1797-1807 With Stars issues, making the 1796 With Stars an extremely overlooked issue. But the 1796 No Stars is a nonpareil one-year gold type coin, the first year of issue for what is odds-on the rarest circulating U.S. gold denomination The quarter eagle was of little use in early American commerce, too large for daily transactions and too small for the international commerce that favored the gold half eagle. From 1796 through the end of the Capped Head to Left quarter eagle design in 1834, the Mint produced approximately 64,262 quarter eagles, according to Guide Book figures. During that same time the Mint produced half eagles in the amount of 2,120,543 pieces more or less, or about 33 times the number of half eagles compared to quarter eagles. Some half eagles such as the 1820, with 263,806 pieces coined, had mintages that would represent a healthy emission even for a much-later Liberty Head half eagle--but both the early half eagles and quarter eagles (as well as gold eagles, made only from 1795-1804) were melted on a vast scale in the early 1830s, when there were still perhaps only a few coin collectors in the United States and the melt value of the coins exceeded their face value.

The estimated mintages of the 1796 No Stars and With Stars, 963 and 432 pieces respectively, are just that: estimates, which Walter Breen first propounded based on three delivery warrants. The first warrant, of Sept. 22, 1796, was for just 66 coins, while the second, from Dec. 8, was for 897 coins. The third delivery, made on Jan. 14, 1797, was for 432 coins. Breen lumped the first two deliveries together to come up with a total mintage of 963 No Stars coins--but that is just a guess, one that has been widely adopted, including by the Guide Book of United States Coins.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/3/2014

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1796 NO STARS $2.5 MS
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 34
Low Grade: 40
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 65


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/24/2003 PCGS XF 45   Goldberg February 24-25, 2003 Coin Auction, 17/Lot# 1896 $50,600.00
7/30/2008 PCGS XF 40   Heritage Auctions 2008 July-August Baltimore, MD (ANA) US Coin Signature Auction #1114, 1114/Lot# 1450 $207,000.00
8/11/2011 PCGS MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(5), 1158/Lot# 7436 $276,000.00
8/15/2011 NGC MS 60   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 7592 $161,000.00
8/2/2012 NGC MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia Session(4), 1173/Lot# 5281 $252,625.00
2/9/2014 PCGS XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/09/2014, 171/Lot# 167867 $112,200.00
3/20/2014 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2014 March 20 The Collection of Donald E. Bently - Bently Foundation US Coins Signature Auction - San Francisco Session(1), 1205/Lot# 30201 $52,875.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1796 NO STARS $2.5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base57406278752110036110161289313003131121415414759155681605617186177231920922352297643309436691405704474449228
5919669283591036211641129291303913459143551502815730164321736518218202562482230874342933798441961462380
000000130391345914355150281573016432173651821820256248223087434293379844196100
000000130751380614557152981589316809175441871321304272933198435492392774335200
1796 NO STARS $2.5 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base59666519779610376113811330213415135271459315212160391653717692182411975922966305243391537577415244576950328
6150694486561071112021133391345213882147991548716205169221787518747208282548531654351353889242939472880
000000134521388214799154871620516922178751874720828254853165435135388924293900
000000134891423715005157631637117307180581925321897280043278436356402084435400
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 13762
Owner: BillJones
 
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