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Finest Terminal State 1796 JR-3 Dime, MS63
Probably the Finest Known JR-3 Dime

1796 10C MS63 NGC. JR-3, R-5. This amazing dime is the finest of just two known examples of the terminal die state with a triangular rim break over the first T in STATES, which has advanced to a full cud. The other example is just XF40 and appeared in Bowers and Merena's sale of June 1990, lot 481. And for the really wonderful numismatic treat, the reverse has very light peripheral adjustment marks that can even be seen on the top surface of the rim break. All of the design details on both sides are more than adequately defined, with nearly full plumage on the eagle, flat only on a few of the breast feathers. The fields on both sides are reflective beneath deep steel and iridescent toning. Slight weakness on the obverse border left of the date is clearly the result of the reverse rim break.
In addition to its status as the finest known late state example, it rivals an NGC MS63 example that we sold in our July 2005 auction for the finest JR-3 dime. This variety is the second rarest of the year, representing only about 5% of all known 1796 dimes. High grade examples are especially elusive, and this example may be the finest known of the variety. This coin and the 2005 specimen are essentially tied for top honors in the Condition Census. We are not aware of any finer specimens.
This is a well known specimen that is pedigreed to the Dr. George P. French, T. James Clarke, and Lester Merkin collections. More recently, it appeared in the amazing John Walter Whitney collection of 1796 coinage. At the time of its appearance in the New Netherlands (47th) Sale of the T. James Clarke collection, it was described by Ford and Breen as unique in the terminal die state. Only one other has been seen in more than 50 years since that sale. Clarke's collector box along with several other pedigree slips accompany this lot.
Ex: Dr. George P. French; T. James Clarke (New Netherlands Coin Co., 4/1956), lot 1621; Lester Merkin (Stack's, 11/1994), lot 767; John Whitney (Stack's, 5/1999), lot 1767.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 236B, PCGS# 4461)

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Auction Dates
August, 2007
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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