As early Mint Sets go, few can match the 1796 for a comprehensive look at our earliest coinage. It was the inaugural year for both the Dime and Quarter, and with production continuing for Half Cents, Cents, Half Dimes, Halves and Dollars, all seven of the original denominations are represented. Two distinct types of Cents were made in 1796, the older Liberty Cap design as well as the newer Draped Bust design, which now matched the silver coinage. Acquiring one of each coin will not be easy, as both the Half Cent and Half Dollar are among the great rarities of early American coinage. A mere 1,390 Half Cents were struck this year, and while perhaps 10% survive today, most are low grade. The 1796 Half Dollar is the key to the U.S. Copper and Silver type set, and enjoys ardent demand from type collectors. While maybe 300 of the entire type survive, that is very few compared to the total number of people who would like to own one. Consequently, a mid-five figure price is attached to even low grade examples. The 1796 Quarter is a one year type coin, and is also in huge demand from type collectors. Though not as expensive or scarce as the Half Dollar, attractive problem-free examples command good money whenever they appear. While this set is neither easy, nor inexpensive, it represents the earliest look at our full range of early coinage and as such, commands the highest respect from numismatists - from novice to advanced. In the area of Gold, the Quarter Eagle made its debut this year, with both a "No Stars" and "Stars" obverse design. Both are quite rare, with mintages under 1000 pieces, but despite the higher mintage, the "No Stars" variety is the costlier of the two - no doubt due to the demand from type collectors as it is a unique, one year type. About 90 or so survive, but finding one for less than a six-figure price tag will prove virtually impossible. The Half Eagle has only the Small Eagle reverse and while they are around, they are mid five-figures in XF/AU and low six figures in Mint State. The Eagle is similar to the Half Eagle. Most known are AU's and they command prices in the mid to upper five figure range. Some Mint State pieces are known, and sell in the low to mid six-figure range. This set is not for the faint of wallet, to be sure.
Notes: This set has bonuses. Please see the Set Composition for a listing.