US Coins

Market Analysis: Holed 1796 and 1804 Draped Bust quarters have value

Two holed quarter dollars each sold for $2,280 on June 18. The 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle quarter dollar was graded Poor/Fair Details, Holed, while the 1804 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle quarter was graded Fine Details, Holed.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries.

Many collectors automatically exclude coins with holes that were damaged outside of the U.S. Mint.

For those who aren’t too bothered by them, holed coins can provide great entry points to otherwise potentially inaccessible rarities, like a 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle quarter dollar. It’s coveted as a one-year type and the only 18th century quarter. Only 6,146 were minted of which a small fraction survives today.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries offered one on June 18 graded Poor/Fair Details, Holed by PCGS that brought $2,280. It features a bold date with sharp details at the peripheries. The cataloger called it “a pleasingly original example with glints of warmer olive-charcoal on deep pearl gray patina.” 

Two lots later in the same auction was an 1804 Draped Bust quarter dollar graded Fine Details, Holed by PCGS that sold for the same amount. After the Small Eagle reverse of 1796, the quarter denomination went on hiatus until 1804 when 6,738 quarters were struck with the Heraldic Eagle reverse.

Despite the prominent hole, the cataloger noted, “Blushes and streaks of steel-olive and russet overlay a base of pewter gray patina on both sides of this overall boldly defined example.”

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