US Coins

Market Analysis: An always-popular one-year type

Among the 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle quarter dollars at the ANA auctions, one graded PCGS AU Details, Altered Surfaces sold for $33,600, and one graded NGC VG Details, Reverse Scratched brought $9,000.

Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle quarter dollars are desirable as a one-year type, also representing the first year that the denomination was produced for circulation.

Just 6,146 were produced, and after this initial production the denomination was not struck until 1804, when it was given a new Heraldic Eagle reverse.

Stack’s Bowers offered several at auction Aug. 17, including one graded About Uncirculated Details, Altered Surfaces by Professional Coin Grading Service that presented smooth surfaces, “perhaps a bit too smooth to be true,” with a touch of glossiness, leading to the PCGS designation. The overall appeal was still solid, and it realized $33,600.

A more budget-friendly example had Very Good Details, Reverse Scratched, as graded by Numismatic Guaranty Co. Stack’s Bowers wrote, “A handsome piece with pleasingly original surfaces toned in blended dove-gray and medium gray. Blush of slightly deeper color over the lower left reverse, but more significant is a lengthy vertical scratch that nearly bisects the center on that side of the coin and explains the NGC qualifier.” It sold for $9,000.

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