US Coins

Market Analysis: 1796 quarter eagle leads denomination at Legend

The rarer of two design types minted in the first year of the gold $2.50 denomination, this 1796 Capped Bust, With Stars quarter eagle graded VF-20 sold for $73,437.50 at Legend on Feb. 25.

All images courtesy of Legend Rare Coin Auctions.

Some wonderful gold $2.50 quarter eagles could be found at Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Feb. 25 Regency Auction 43 in Las Vegas.

From the first year of the denomination came a 1796 Capped Bust, With Stars gold quarter eagle graded Very Fine 20 by Professional Coin Grading Service that is one of two types minted that year – the other lacking the stars around the bust. The No Stars type is better-known as a one-year design type, but the With Stars obverse is rarer for the year, with just 432 believed to have been struck.

The obverse has 16 stars, representing each state in the union in 1796, and this example is the BD-3 variety in the Bass-Dannreuther early gold reference. Legend called the offering “a very important opportunity for the collector seeking an example of this rarity, but does not want to spend into the six figures.” Legend praised its warm color, adding, “Despite the wear, this piece shows no significant marks of any kind, which is unusual for a coin that saw this much time in commercial channels.” It sold for $73,437.50.

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