Coin Specifications

Category: Early Quarters (1796-1838)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 6,146
Obverse Designer: Robert Scot
Reverse Designer: Robert Scot
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.8920
Weight: 6.7400g
ASW: 0.1933oz
Melt Value: $3.32 (5/25/2017)
Diameter: 27.5mm
Edge: Reeded
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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: 8/11/2016

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

1796 25C MS
Base $ 12250 18750 26250 34750 56000 66000 68500 74000 84500 89500 95000 120000 145000 235000 425000 800000 1750000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - 2000000 -

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Total Graded: 186
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
11/4/2004 PCGS FA 2   Heritage Auctions 2004 November Palm Beach, FL Signature Sale #358, 358/Lot# 6467 $3,565.00
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
7/27/2013 PCGS VF 25   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4077 $27,612.50
2/27/2014 PCGS Genuine VG   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(2), 1203/Lot# 3837 $10,281.25
4/27/2014 NGC Details VG Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/27/2014, 173/Lot# 189125 $10,175.00
8/5/2014 NGC MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(4), 1208/Lot# 5566 $105,750.00

NGC Registry

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

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