1796 Capped Bust quarter Eagle brings in $ 456,000



The United States Mint was young and ambitious in 1796, busy minting bronze, silver and gold coins. The recent auctions of the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money offered a rich selection of coins dated 1796.

One of the finest was a capped bust from 1796, stars on the obverse in gold at $ 2.50, rated Mint State 62 by Professional Coin Grading Service, which made $ 456,000 in the Rarities Night sale of Stack’s Bowers Galleries on August 17th.

Two design subtypes were minted in 1796 – one with obverse stars and one without – with the “Red Book” indicating a draw of only 432 stars on the obverse quarter eagles.

The lot in question was donated in 1926 by Massachusetts coin dealer Elmer Snow Sears. The cataloguer writes: “When and under what circumstances Sears acquired this part are unknown. Has he been set aside from his dealer stock as a personal favorite? Did he cross paths with Sears after his retirement and get him a special numismatic sale? Or maybe Sears acquired the piece with the specific intention of including it in their personal collection. We will never know. ”

It was acquired by the shipper in the 1970s and had not been on the market since then.

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