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Impressive Near-Gem 1796 Draped Bust Dime, JR-6

1796 10C MS64 NGC. JR-6, R.3. There are two key diagnostics for this variety: (1) all of the letters in LIBERTY are separated, and (2) there is a thick die crack that extends horizontally through 17 in the date. In this later state of the dies, this crack lengthens to travel from the rim along the left side of 9, upward onto Liberty's neck, through the hair detail and the upper left obverse field to star 8. On the reverse, another prominent crack appears along the rim near 10 o'clock, angling diagonally downward between ST in STATES, through the left branch to the top of the eagle's left (facing) wing, across the right wing and branch to the left side of M, to the rim.
According to the John Reich Collectors' Society reference work on early United States dimes (1984), there were 10,244 examples of this die marriage produced: 3,864 pieces on February 28, 1797, and 6,380 coins on March 21, 1797. These JR-6 examples were struck in addition to the 22,135 pieces that constitute the official mintage figure for 1796-dated dimes, pushing the actual mintage number to 32,359 coins (this information is credited to researcher Robert P. Hilt II, among others). The authors estimate, further, that representatives of the JR-6 variety account for approximately thirty percent of all 1796 dimes extant.
This near-Gem is in a much better state of preservation than the usual survivors, which tend to appear in grades ranging from Good to Very Fine, and are often impaired by improper cleaning or other problems. Lovely electric-turquoise toning occurs near the peripheral regions, mingling with gold, rose, and violet iridescence. The design elements are sharply struck, save for typical softness on the eagle, and there are no readily visible marks or blemishes on either side of this impressive specimen. Census: 20 in 64, 21 finer (11/08).
From The James Mossman Collection.
See: Video Lot Description(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 236B, PCGS# 4461)

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Auction Dates
January, 2009
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