JR-4. Rarity-4. PQ. A coin with strong eye appeal, reflective fields and frosty devices. A bright and attractive dime that has delicate peripheral gold toning starting to form around the edges, with the centers light silver-gray. The strike was sharp as nearly always seen on 1796 dimes, with strong separation on Liberty's uppermost curls and most of the eagle's breast feathers still surviving. Faint, nearly horizontal adjustment marks can be discerned crossing through Liberty’s central curls and neck. Middle die state with the usual thin crack through the first star to the second curl on Liberty, no signs of clashing, and another crack on the reverse left of first S of STATES. Identifiable by a tiny edge scrape above the eighth star and another above the first A of AMERICA. First year of issue for the denomination, and a two year type coin. The Mint coined its first silver dimes and quarters in 1796, and the first gold quarter eagles made their appearance. In 1796 the new design was employed on all five silver denominations, from half dimes through silver dollars. Many of these new coins and new designs were produced in extremely limited numbers, and the year overall is notable for producing some of the rarest U.S. type coins.
Ron Howard: My favorite regular-issue U.S. coin is the coin PCGS graded MS 68. It is, in my opinion, unmatchable for its combination of originality, preservation, and historic numismatic significance.Ron Guth:
JR-1 - Scarce
JR-2 - Very Scarce
JR-3 - Rare
JR-4 - Very Scarce
JR-5 - Rare
JR-6 - Very Scarc
1796 was the first year that Dimes were struck in America. Six varieties (different die combinations) are known for the year, all of which are either scarce or rare. 1796 Dimes are very rare in Uncirculated condition and most examples fall in the MS-62 to MS-64 range. Gem and better examples are extremely rare.
Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Early United Dimes 1796-1837" by David J. Davis et al.
MARCA 1/1988:409 - Heritage 8/2014:5553, $793,125
Stack’s “Empire” 11/1957:728 - Jimmy Hayes Collection - Stack's 10/1985:16 - John Whitney Walter "Mr. 1796" Collection - Stack's 5/1999:1763 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2014:30229, $881,250
Malcolm N. Jackson Collection - United States Coin Company 5/1913:1000 - Hank Rogers Collection, sold privately in 8/1972 - Jimmy Hayes Collection - Stack’s 4/1983:1139, $37,000 - Paramount “Auction ‘84” 7/1984:612, $37,400 - Foxfire Collection (Claude E. Davis, MD), sold privately (as an entire collection) on 10/5/2004 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1034, $235,000
"Colonel" E.H.R. Green Collection - Partnership of Eric P. Newman & B.G. Johnson (St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.) - Eric P. Newman, who paid $30 - Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society - Heritage 11/2013:33313, $188,000 - Simpson Collection
Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 5/22/1996:1040, $83,600 - High Desert Collection