Coin Specifications

Category: Early Quarters (1796-1838)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 6,146
Catalog: KM-25
Obverse Designer: Robert Scot
Reverse Designer: Robert Scot
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.8920
Weight: 6.74g
ASW: 0.1933oz
Melt Value: $3.80 (7/25/2016)
Diameter: 27.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1796 25C MS obverse 1796 25C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

While several denominations of United States silver coins were struck as early as 1794, it was not until two years later that the first quarter dollars appeared. This has been attributed to the large numbers of Spanish colonial two-reales coins in circulation that traded at the same value. When the first quarter dollars were struck in 1796 they bore the newly adopted Draped Bust Liberty by Robert Scot. This was paired with the Small Eagle that was destined to be short lived. In keeping with U. S. Mint practice of the time, these coins carried no statement of value, though some other denominations proved to be exceptions.

A mere 6,146 1796 quarters were coined, with part of that production taking place the following year. A single reverse die was paired with two obverses that vary only slightly. Though Browning-1 is more scarce than B-2, there are not many collectors of this series by die marriage. Interest in this issue comes primarily from type collectors seeking just a single piece in the highest grader affordable.

More than 100 examples have survived in Mint State, these likely saved for their novelty. Despite such availability, 1796 quarter dollars are costly in any grade. The reason for this is that coinage did not resume until 1804, by which time the reverse design had changed, leaving this date as a one-year-only type coin.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/10/2015

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1796 25C MS
Base $ 11750 19500 27250 36000 58000 69000 72500 80000 84500 88000 94000 121000 160000 235000 450000 800000 1750000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - 2250000 -

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Total Graded: 184
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/11/2007 PCGS F 12   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 1346 $30,000.00
2/22/2007 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 2331, 2331/Lot# 1041 $38,080.00
3/3/2008 NGC F 12   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 225, 231/Lot# 3065 $24,754.90
9/22/2010 PCGS F 12   Heritage Auctions 2010 September Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1144, 1144/Lot# 3902 $20,700.00
8/15/2011 NGC AU 53   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 7302 $39,100.00
10/13/2011 PCGS F 12   Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(1), 1160/Lot# 3558 $26,185.50
7/12/2012 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions 2012 July 12-15 US Coin Summer FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(1), 1172/Lot# 3507 $10,925.00
2/7/2013 NGC Details AG Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 February 7 -8 & 10 US Coin Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(1), 1182/Lot# 3395 $3,290.00
7/27/2013 PCGS AU 55   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4075 $58,750.00
10/12/2014 PCGS FA 2   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 216896 $6,000.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1796 25C MS
1796 25C MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery

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