US Coins

Market Analysis: Poor 1, counterstamped 1796 quarter still a coveted rarity

1796 Draped Bust quarter dollars are coveted in any grades as the first year of the denomination and as a one-year type. Only 6,146 were struck and the denomination would go on a hiatus until 1804, when the Small Eagle reverse would be replaced with the Heraldic Eagle reverse.

This example graded Poor 1, Counterstamped, by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. has a remarkably strong date, though most other design elements are missing.

The reverse is counterstamped J. HALSTRICK. / BOSTON, in the style of a silversmith or jeweler. Heritage suspects the counterstamp represents the work of Joseph S. Halstrick (1815–1912), a silversmith listed in several Boston directories in the mid-1800s, though other possibilities exist.

The counterstamp is listed as H-154 in Gregory Brunk’s book American and Canadian Countermarked Coins. These marks were used to advertise local businesses. Counterstamped coins are considered damaged, but some collectors focus solely on counterstamped coins. It sold for $3,840, a price in line with what other Poor 1 examples without a counterstamp have realized in recent auctions.

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