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1797 Br.1. BD-4 (R-6+)

From Stack's October 2006 New York Auction, Session 2 on Oct 18, 2006

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Categories  •  Stack's October 2006 New York The 71st Anniversary Sale U. S. Quarter Eagles ($2.50 Gold) U. S. Capped Bust Right Quarter Eagles
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1797 Br.1. BD-4 (R-6+). Choice Very Fine. The surfaces may have been lightly cleaned in the past,...1797 Br.1. BD-4 (R-6+). Choice Very Fine. The surfaces may have been lightly cleaned in the past, and show a bright yellow-gold hue. Moderate wear as expected for the grade. A strong die crack formed on the right side of the obverse die very early in the emission of these, and in fact no coins are known without this die crack. On this middle die state example, the crack has formed a retained cud, with the 'Y' and all the stars on the right save for the lowest one, raised relative to the left side of the coin. One very late die state example is known with a full cud, where it appears the section of the die on the right side has broken away, leaving no definition on most of the stars. The obverse die was retired after the piece broke away from the right side, and no further 1797 Quarter Eagles were struck.

Early gold coins have finally been thoroughly examined by die variety by Harry Bass, Jr. and John Dannreuther in their recently published Varieties and Die States of United States Gold Coinage 1795-1834. While the Eagles of 1795 to 1804 were well researched in Anthony Taraszka's die variety book, the Half Eagles and Quarter Eagles were left behind save for the pioneering work by Walter Breen. Armed with updated variety, rarity and die state information, these series will likely see increased collecting activity. As seen in the past, a few years after important reference works are released, a new wave of collectors begins to form collections, and prices will usually be driven higher by the increased demand. Although the reported mintage of the 1797 Quarter Eagle is 427 pieces, it is now believed that the number coined could be as high as 585 pieces, with possible deliveries taking place after the close of the calendar year.

From this meager output, the number of survivors is estimated at 15 pieces by John Dannreuther, roughly 3 percent of those coined. Obviously, a collector has few to choose from, and rarely are these important and historical coins offered in any grade. For identification purposes, there is a small struck through area from a denticle left of the date, curling up and just missing the two lower inside points of the first star, and continuing back to touch Liberty's lower curl. Similar lint marks are seen on other 1797 Quarter Eagles, but always in different locations. A couple of minor edge bumps are present, one above 'B', another above 'TY' of LIBERTY. Other planchet voids are present in the obverse fields. On the reverse, most of the prooflike mirror fields are intact, although areas of the field show evidence of circulation and light wiping. Rarely encountered in any grade, the present example would make a welcome addition to even the most advanced collection.

Lot # 2028 Session 2
Hammer Price: $21,000.00

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Click to open a larger image - 1797 Br.1. BD-4 (R-6+). Choice Very Fine. The surfaces may have been lightly cleaned in the past,... Click to open a larger image - 1797 Br.1. BD-4 (R-6+). Choice Very Fine. The surfaces may have been lightly cleaned in the past,...

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