1796 25C Browning 1 MS (PCGS# 5310)
The November 2011 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 2022
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Medium lilac gray with attractive golden high points. No serious circulation marks mar the in-hand enjoyment of the piece, though we note some diagonal mint-caused adjustment marks at the eagle’s legs and the cloud immediately below. The present specimen was no doubt sharper than typical when struck, for despite the even wear pattern, there is bold head detail in the reverse eagle with beak, nostril, and tongue plainly evident. One of 6,146 examples of the date struck in the first year of the denomination and the only year of the Draped Bust, Small Eagle type; no quarter dollars were forthcoming from the Mint again until 1804, for which date a Large Eagle reverse was used to conform to the other circulating silver coins of the era. Eagerly sought in virtually any collectable grade, and the scarcer of just two known die varieties of the date. A pleasing high-grade EF 1796 quarter such as offered here is always in demand, not only by quarter dollar specialists, but by advanced type collectors as well--after all, your type set of quarter dollars is not complete without a 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle quarter.