1796 Quarter Eagle, Stars on Obverse

The 1796 Draped Bust Quarter Eagle (Buy on eBay) was also struck with stars on the obverse. The stars were arranged eight to the left and eight to the right of Liberty. The total of sixteen represented the number of states in the Union at the time of minting. This issue represents an important subtype, as it’s the only issue of this design with sixteen obverse stars. Interestingly, all stars point to the adjacent star, a feature encountered on the 1794 silver dollar as well.

The coins were produced and delivered in early 1797, with a total mintage believed to be just 432 pieces. This is notably less than the more famous “no stars” variety. Fewer than 50 examples are believed to still exist and mint state examples are extremely rare. The single finest known example of this issue graded PCGS MS-65 sold for $1,380,000 in 2021.<