1796 25C Browning 1 MS (PCGS# 5310)
The June 2010 Baltimore Auction
Auctioneer: Bowers & Merena
Lot Number: 2001
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This is the scarcer of the two-known die marriages for the 1796 Quarter. Both B-1 and B-2 share the same reverse, but B-1 is attributable by having the digit 6 in the date set low and the top curl on Liberty's head positioned under the upright of the letter E in LIBERTY.<br /> As an issue the 1796 is a rare and extremely important coin from the earliest years of U.S. Mint production. The first Quarter struck in our nation's Mint, the 1796 is also the sole delivery of the Draped Bust, Small Eagle type. A mere 6,146 pieces were produced, and survivors are scarce-to-very scarce in circulated grades and rare in Mint State. Problem free at the middle reaches of the grading scale, the present example is overall smooth with few abrasions of note. Wear is moderately heavy, yet evenly distributed, and the major devices are quite bold for a VF. Originally toned in even copper-gray patina, a short, thin scrape is easily overlooked at the obverse border below the end of Liberty's bust. For the grade, one of the nicest 1796 B-1 Quarters that this cataloger has handled in quite some time.