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1796 25c Draped Bust Quarter - Browning-2 High 6 Obverse Die

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Pillar of the Community
United States
8471 Posts
 Posted 09/26/2021  10:41 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This coin is easy to find using the internet, but before you head over there, post your thoughts on its grade and attributes that stand out to you - good or bad. Please do not reveal the TPG grade if you have looked it up so that others can offer their thoughts without the TPG opinion. Thanks!

I was fortunate to be able to acquire this, the first two-bit coin officially minted by our beautiful nation. As many of you know, it is a one year type coin with the small eagle reverse designed by little known John Eckstein and the only U.S. quarter minted in the 18th century. Note the beautiful lack of weight adjustment/filing marks on this coin, which are often found in many other examples of this issue.

When this quarter was issued during George Washington's last full year as President, it thwarted Thomas Jefferson's hopes of decimalizing U.S. coinage and issuing his preferred 20 cent coin. The Spanish 2-bit or two reales coin was the most widely circulating and popular silver coin at the time this coin was issued and was a quarter of the Spanish silver 8 reales coin which was about equivalent to the U.S. dollar in commerce.

The Philadelphia Mint coined 5,894 quarters during the winter and spring of 1796 with deliveries on April 9, May 27, and June 14 and an additional 252 coins on February 28, 1797. The 6,146 coins were minted with two obverse dies and one reverse die. Research indicates that about 700 specimens survive. NGC and PCGS have graded 510 pieces in all grades with an average grade slightly below VF30. This is the Browning-2 (B-2) variety, struck with the 2nd obverse die exhibiting the "High 6" placement of the last digit of the date. The B-2 variety shows the 6 in the date almost touching the bust of Liberty. The B-2 variety is slightly more common at R3 than the B-1 variety which clocks in at R4.

According to Heritage Auctions numismatic staff: "Modern research into die states shows that the Browning-2 quarters, with the High 6 date position, were the first coined, adding to the importance of this coin." This cements that the B-2 1796 quarters were indeed the coins minted with the first Mint die pair to produce the 25c denomination.

The late Walter Breen, who as well as being one of the greatest numismatic figures of the 20th century, was unfortunately a convicted serial child molester who defended the despicable practice and died in prison in Chino, CA [the coin industry that still uses his coin reference system extensively tries to keep this very quiet], wrote in his Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins about the 1796 quarters that: "The weakness at eagle's head is characteristic of the design and is not to be attributed to imperfect striking."




This is a short video of this coin.

P5u8HHMyzx8
Edited by numismatic student
09/27/2021 02:34 am
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United States
6394 Posts
 Posted 09/26/2021  10:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add muddler to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow what a stunner!
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 Posted 09/26/2021  11:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great looking example! Wayyy outside my wheelhouse, but I'll take a stab at AU55-AU58. Congrats on this one

Edit: leaning towards AU58. Looking at it again, I do see breaks in the luster, but minimal to no wear.
Edited by Ty2020b
09/27/2021 12:16 am
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Canada
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 Posted 09/26/2021  11:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Numis-Northerner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Now that is a fresh looking coin, I'm tempted to say specimen, but that would be unfair to other specimen coins, so I would say MS-60.
Edited by Numis-Northerner
09/26/2021 11:58 pm
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 Posted 09/27/2021  12:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My goodness! In real life, I've never seen a 1796 anywhere near this grade. The only one I've handled was a G-something several years ago (G-04, I think). And that was a chunk of change.

This one is a couple galaxies over my head.

Absolute stunner, though. Wow.
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 Posted 09/27/2021  02:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Appreciate all your input. Added a short video of this coin to the original post.
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 Posted 09/27/2021  02:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Zurie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, an amazing coin. Looks like it could be mint state with more luster on the reverse than the obverse, but beyond that, I have no idea.

Congrats! Did you win the lottery recently?
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 Posted 09/27/2021  02:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Philosopher Noam Chomsky likes to say that anyone who is living in the United States in the 21st century has won the lottery of life. In that broad sense, I guess I have.
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 Posted 09/27/2021  06:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
With these past couple purchases, I think that you have safely made the transition from numismatic student to numismatic professor. Well done and thx for sharing!
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 09/27/2021  07:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add KYCopperCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
At least ms63...that coin is rediculous dude....I don't even know you anymore!
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 Posted 09/27/2021  08:33 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Going to have to bump mine. Can make out luster better in the video. I'll play it safe at AU58-MS62. Stellar example.
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 Posted 09/27/2021  09:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Absolutely stunning example.
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.jk-dk.art
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 09/27/2021  09:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Drop dead beautiful.
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 Posted 09/27/2021  11:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Amazing example. My first thought was 58, but I am not seeing any wear. A solid strike and very few marks. MS63
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 Posted 09/27/2021  5:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Greasy Fingers to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What has happened to you.......Wonderful coin, no bad seller photos and a write up about the coin................

Was your account hi-jacked?....

Out of my pay grade...Very very nice coin...
I'm by no means a pro and will never claim to be...just my 2 cents
A smile costs nothing to give or receive....GF
If it's not hockey, it's not a sport
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 Posted 09/27/2021  6:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My other philosopher friend, F. Gump, told me: "My Momma always said, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." I think that sums up life in a very tidy way.
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