1796 Draped Bust Half Dollar: 16 Stars

The 1796 Draped Bust Half Dollar with 16 Stars is a fascinating and historically significant coin in American numismatics. Here are some key points about this coin:

1. Design: The obverse (front) of the coin features a bust of Liberty facing right, with flowing hair draping over her shoulder. Above her head are 16 stars representing the number of states in the Union at that time. The date "1796" is below the bust.

1. Reverse: On the reverse (back) side of the coin, there is an eagle with outstretched wings, holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons. The eagle is surrounded by a laurel wreath, and the denomination "50 C." (fifty cents) is below the eagle.

1. Historical Context: The 1796 Draped Bust Half Dollar was struck during the early years of the United States Mint's operation. This was a period of transition and experimentation with coin designs and specifications as the Mint sought to establish a stable and reliable coinage system.

16 Stars: The depiction of 16 stars on the obverse of the coin is significant because it reflects the number of states in the Union at the time of minting. 

The arrangement of stars on the reverse of the coin symbolized the number of states in the Union at that time. 

These early Quarter Eagles were struck in limited quantities due to the small size of the gold coinage market at the time and the challenges faced by the Mint in acquiring sufficient gold bullion for coinage. 

Today, the 1798 Turban Head Gold $2.50 Quarter Eagle is highly sought after by collectors for its historical significance, rarity, and aesthetic appeal. Surviving examples of this coin are relatively scarce, particularly in high grades, adding to their desirability among numismatists. 

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