1796 10C MS66 NGC. JR-1, R.3. 1796 was a watershed year for the fledgling U.S. Mint, as it expanded its portfolio of coined...
Beautifully Toned 1796 JR-1 Dime MS661796 10C MS66 NGC. JR-1, R.3. 1796 was a watershed year for the fledgling U.S. Mint, as it expanded its portfolio of coined denominations to include silver dimes and quarters with the Draped Bust obverse and the Small Eagle reverse, as well as Capped Bust to Right (or Turban Head) gold quarter eagles. The year is also memorable for the creation of some of the rarest U.S. type coins, including the aforementioned quarter eagles with the No Stars obverse, a one-year type, and the coveted Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollars of 1796 and 1797, a two-year type featuring the denomination "1/2" on the reverse. The 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle quarters are also a one-year type, but due to a somewhat larger mintage they are expensive, but slightly more available.
One of the real pleasures of being a cataloger at Heritage is the lavish abundance of truly rare coins that one is able to study, admire, and catalog. Occasionally, we are even fortunate enough to have multiples of such rare coins in a single auction. So it is with this piece, a second, in this instance beautifully toned, MS66 example of the most available dime variety for 1796. The surfaces show rich blue toning over each side with deep rose color in the center of the obverse. The striking details are uncommonly strong on each side with only the slightest softness evident on the eagle's breast feathers. Slight evidence of adjustment marks can be seen on the rim on the right side of the obverse and on Liberty's cheek, but these are mentioned for pedigree purposes rather than as a cautionary note for the prospective bidder. In fact, the only other ripples in the surface of this magnificent piece are the die clash marks that are expected from this late die state.
While common as a variety, in such a high grade this coin is quite elusive and well as extraordinarily well preserved. The variety is distinguished easily by the bold cud die break (or is it a clash mark?) through the rim and two points of star 1. On the reverse, a leaf touches the third E only, and there are two leaf points beneath the A in STATES. This piece, and a companion piece also graded MS66 by NGC in the present sale, certainly appears to be near the top of the Condition Census for the variety. While NGC and PCGS together show three pieces graded finer, those population data are for all varieties of 1796 dimes, not solely the JR-1. The present example appears to be in nearly the same advanced die state. Bold clash marks are visible from the reverse bow above Liberty's head.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 236B, PCGS# 4461)
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