Type 1, No Stars

Obverse of 1796 "No Stars" Quarter Eagle
Reverse of 1796 "No Stars" Quarter Eagle
Regular Strike

Ron Guth: The first 1796 Quarter Eagles were produced without stars, a unique deviation to a standard that applied to all other U.S. gold coins of the time (in fact, all gold coins through 1933, with the exception of Type 2 and Type 3 Gold Dollars and all $3 gold pieces) had stars in some form or fashion). Was this a time-saving technique during a rush to production, an oversight, or just plain laziness? We'll never know. However, later in the year, new quarter eagle dies were produced, this time with thirteen stars on the obverse. The No Stars 1796 Quarter Eagle are very difficult to locate in any grade, partly because of an innately low mintage, partly because of high demand from type collectors, and partly because many were destroyed in subsequent years when their bullion value exceeded their face value.