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Stunning 1796 Quarter to be Offered by Goldberg’s at Pre Long Beach Coin Auction

Ira and Larry Goldberg‘s Jan 31- Feb 2, 2010 Pre- Long Beach auction catalog had been posted online, and the first coin that caught our eye was a stunning 1796 Draped Bust Quarter Dollar. . B-2, high 6. NGC graded MS-63.


Only 6,146 pieces struck of which merely 650 are estimated to have survived. A beautifully toned Uncirculated example. This wonderful coin was housed for over 50 years in an old Raymond holder. Well struck with mirror surfaces.

As the sole issue in the Draped Bust, Small Eagle Quarter series, the 1796 is a must-have coin for every serious type collector. It is also a scarce date with a paltry original mintage of 6,146 pieces. This is a marvelous survivor whose surfaces are richly toned in dominant blue with silver-gray shades. Outlines of deeper patina are also seen around many of the obverse devices such as the stars.

The strike is expertly centered, all border denticles full with crisp definition. Liberty’s portrait on the obverse is overall sharply defined, this in spite of the often primitive conditions which were in play at the First U.S. Mint (hand-made planchets, hand-operated presses, hand-punched and engraved dies, etc.).

On the reverse, the eagle is nicely impressed for this a coin from this set of dies, marginally less so over the eagle’s head, but the detail on this side is evenly distributed. There are a few wispy hairlines here and there consistent with MS63 quality, but we stress that the surfaces are uncommonly smooth in appearance for an early U.S. silver coin over 200 years old!

The “High 6” variety of the issue, one of just two known die pairings for this low mintage single year type. This variety of 1796 seen more often than B-1.

Early state: The obverse of this example is perfect, with no die cracks through LIBERTY. (On the late-state examples, several heavy die cracks appear through ERTY and star 9.)

The design of the draped bust 1796 quarter dollar had its genesis in the almost universal disapproval for the previous coin designs. Earlier copper coinage, such as the Chain cent and Wreath cent, had not been well liked by the public, and the Flowing Hair design of the silver coins was also widely criticized. To avoid such public discomfort with the new design, Mint Director Henry DeSaussure engaged renowned portraitist Gilbert Stuart, who supposedly used as his model the prominent Philadelphia socialite Mrs. William Bingham (nee Ann Willing). The likeness of the buxom Mrs. Bingham was first applied to the draped bust dollar issued late in 1795 and followed on the half dimes, dimes, quarters and halves in 1796.

Estimated Value $80,000 – 90,000.
Pop 6; 12 finer, 7 in 64, 3 in 65, 2 in 66.
Provenance: Ex: Benson Collection.

Sale Information:
Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles
Pre-Long Beach Auction
January 31- February 2, 2010
At the Crown Plaza in Beverly Hills

Lot Viewing:
350 South Beverly Drive Suite 350
Beverly Hills CA 90212

Highlights for this sale include:
The Sommer Collection of Encased Postage
The Anaheim Collection, a gorgeous offering of beautifully toned U.S. Coins
and an exceptional collection of U.S. Gold Coins.

Catalogues are available now $15 US | $40 International
Call 800-978-2646 to order or view it free online:

About the Author

Ira and Larry Goldberg have been in the coins and collectibles business for over 35 years and are leaders in their field. Their grandfather founded the prominent Superior Stamp and Coin Company in Beverly Hills in 1931, and Goldberg Coins & Collectibles of Beverly Hills, California, has been setting records and upholding the family tradition of excellence and expertise since 1969.

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