US Coins

Market Analysis: First-year strikes of two denominations

A 1796 Capped Bust, No Stars gold $2.50 quarter eagle graded AU-50, left, sold for $168,000 on Jan. 12 while a 1794 Flowing Hair dollar graded VF-30 by PCGS, right, sold for $204,000 at the same session.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Two coins representing the first years of their respective denominations struck at the U.S. Mint were also top lots in Heritage’s January Florida United Numismatists auction of the Schwenk Family 100 Greatest Coins Collection.

A 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar graded Very Fine 30 by Professional Coin Grading Service was previously offered at Heritage’s 2022 Florida United Numismatist auction offering, where it sold for $240,000 to the consignor. It features the usual striking weakness on the left side of the obverse, the result of dies that were misaligned in the coining press. It realized $204,000 in the Jan. 12 Platinum Night session.

Two types of 1796 Capped Bust gold $2.50 quarter eagles were produced: one with stars on the obverse and one without stars. The 1796 Capped Bust, No Stars quarter eagle is a distinct one-year subtype. The “100 Greatest Coins” example in the auction was graded About Uncirculated 50, distinguished by its “prevailing wheat-gold color with some original patina around the device edges in hues of lilac, rose-copper, and pale blue.” It realized $168,000 at the same session, an improvement on the $111,625 it brought in 2017.

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