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No Stars on Obverse
1796 Quarter Eagle
1796 Quarter Eagle - The 1796 No Stars quarter eagle is a first-year-of-issue and one-year type coin. It has no stars on the obverse and sixteen on the reverse. It also has sixteen stripes on the shield. It is the earliest coin honoring Tennessee’s admission to the Union. With an original mintage of 963, it is not the lowest in the series, but because it is a one-year type coin, it is valued more highly than others in the series. Because of its significance, it would certainly be the centerpiece of a collection of early gold.

Most of the know specimens of this coin show central weakness. It is seen in Liberty’s hair above and below the ear and the curls on her face. Often these coins come with a weak E in LIBERTY and weak dentils. The reverse is usually stronger than the obverse. The reverse often shows weakness at the top and bottom of the eagle’s neck. On some coins the tail, especially its tip is weak. The left wing’s tip is always flat and the whole wing shows less detail than the right. The right talon is usually weakly struck too. The reverse dentils are usually weak from 3:00 to 7:00.

Abrasion marks are often seen on the surfaces, but they are less than on the With Stars issue. Adjustment marks are often seen. These are the result of the coins being filed to get them to the exact weight required by law.

The coins of this issue are usually frosty with subdued luster. The fields often contrast with the devices creating a semi-proof like appearance. Many pieces are impaired as a result of improper cleaning. Higher grade pieces have most of the luster still present.

Of the early date quarter eagles, this issue usually has the most eye appeal. Attractive examples are rare but possible to attain.

Most of these coins have obverse die cracks at 9:00 at the rim extending to the field. At the top of the right wing on the reverse, there is an engraver’s line to the tops of AMER.

The total number of known pieces for this date and type is 90 to 110. Most are in the Extremely Fine to About Uncirculated categories. About 5 to 7 are uncirculated.

Weight: 4.37 grams
Composition: .9167 gold, .0833 silver and copper
Diameter: approximately 20 millimeters
Edge: reeded

Early Quarter Eagles

With Stars on Obverse

1796 Quarter Eagle with Stars Obverse. After the first quarter eagle, without stars, a new issue was made with stars on the obverse. Sixteen stars were used to represent the states in the Union as of June 1, 1796, when Tennessee was admitted. Eight stars were placed on each side of LIBERTY. This design with modification in the number of stars continued in use until 1807, when the entire quarter eagle motif was redesigned by John Reich.

Production of quarter eagles was variable, since the coin was not used much in commerce, and half eagles and eagles were preferred. Only 432 were minted with stars for this date, creating a modern rarity. The estimated survival for this issue in all grades is less than 50. In mint state perhaps 5 exist. Mintage numbers have been revised for this issue.

Early Red Book editions stated that the mintage was 66 pieces. The current number is more reasonable considering the number of known specimens. The coin is rarer than the earlier without stars issue.

The With Stars design was not an add-on to the Without Stars die since the Without Stars die broke. The spacing in the letters of LIBERTY is different from the earlier coin as is the reverse star configuration. The number and arrangement of the obverse stars is different from any other coin in the series, with sixteen stars, eight to each side of Liberty. The issue also has sixteen stripes on the shield.

After Tennessee’s admission to the Union, Mint Director Boudinot realized that it was highly impractical to add stars for every new state. After 1796, only thirteen stars were used, to symbolize the first states.

Weight: 4.37 grams
Composition: .9167 gold, .0833 silver and copper
Diameter: approximately 20 millimeters
Edge: reeded

Early Quarter Eagles

1796 Quarter Eagle In Depth Information 1796 Quarter Eagle

US Rare Coin Investments 2003 - 2015 U.S. Rare Coin Investments

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