Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 48

Lot 1222

1796 $2.50 Capped Bust. Stars. PCGS graded AU-55. Well struck with light friction on only the highest points. The planchet is remarkably clean save for a few faint hairline adjustment marks hidden in the shield; all delicately toned. Only 432 minted of which only about 40-50 are known in all grades.

A worldly dose of original sparkling luster enlivens the devices and shines forth from the protected areas on this With Stars Capped Bust quarter eagle rarity struck the first year of issue. The fields are extremely choice for so modest a grade as AU55, while the strike is bold enough to warrant your attention and (perhaps) several nods of admiration. Careful scrutiny with a magnifying glass reveals the following minor points: a few tiny adjustment lines within the shield; a thin, almost invisible lint mark to the right of (O)F; and a pencil thin indentation line in the left field above the arrow points. Nothing severe, nothing extraordinary, everything above-board and splendid for a coin struck more than 200 years ago!

This entire Type's mintage is less than most of the individual half eagle dates from 1798 through 1834. And of major note to collectors is the low mintage (with subsequent rarity) of the 1796 With Stars BD-3 variety for 1796. The number 432 is a guess, but the relative rarity between this variety and the No Stars type certainly leads one to believe that it is fairly accurate.

Tennessee became a state on June 1, 1796, so the first Stars coins had 16 of them, arranged 8 + 8 with the previous-style reverse (which also had 16 stars) used for the No Stars type. This date is also a major type variety of the Stars type, as it is the only obverse found with 16 stars. This fact has generally been overlooked in numismatic circles, since the rarity of the date makes it a difficult one for most collectors. Clearly much nicer than average, it deserves a strong bid from an appreciative collecting community. Pop 5; 4 in 58, 1 in 61, 1 in 62, 1 in 63 (PCGS # 7647) .
Estimated Value $130,000 - 150,000.

Realized $129,375

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