Important Gem 16 Stars Reverse 1798/97 Dime
1798/97 10C 16 Stars on Reverse MS65 NGC. JR-1, R.3. Nicely
centered on the planchet, with excellent peripheral details and
full borders, although the centers show considerable weakness on
each side. Both sides exhibit frosty luster beneath deep
golden-brown and iridescent toning. The overall appearance is
highly pleasing, with only a few tiny surface marks hidden in the
JR-1, Ex: Ed Price
The obverse has considerable die lapping evident in the form of missing hair details. The reverse has a short crack or spine to the right from star 10 over the eagle's head. This early die state piece shows a straight die line from star 3 to star 10, visible in the fields and intermittently on the bust.
This splendid Gem is most likely high in the Condition Census. In October 1973, Stack's sold an example reported in the dime book as the finest the authors had seen. The Scanlon coin later appeared in the Lovejoy sale, graded MS62 NGC. We have handled several Mint State examples of this variety in our auctions, but relatively few in Gem condition.
This is the overdate with a small 8 over a large 7, the tail of the 7 visible well below the 8. Thirteen stars are arranged with seven left and six right. Stars 6 and 7 are much closer than all others on the left, and stars 11 and 12 nearly touch on the right. The date is low, and the serif of the 1 is far from the missing low curl, which has been lapped away. The top of the 8 is far from the drapery. Stars 1 and 13 are distant from the curl and drapery, and stars 7 and 8 are closer to the bust and Liberty.
The reverse constellation has 16 stars arranged in two rows of 7, with a single star on either side of the eagle's head. Each of the 16 stars is from a defective punch, with an extra short point. Only four berries appear in the branch, lacking the top inside berry. All letters in the legend are properly spaced, with a leaf point just left of the I.
The two 1798 overdates share a common obverse die that was first used for JR-1. The reverse is the same die that was earlier used for 1797 quarter eagles. For these coins, the emission sequence is 1797 BD-1 quarter eagle; 1798/7 JR-1 dime; 1798/7 JR-2 dime. Although from entirely different die pairs, we assume that the 1798 overdates were coined before the 1798 normal dates.
Four different reverse dies were prepared with 16 stars in the constellation, as illustrated below. The particular star arrangements for these four dies, including this die variety; and three quarter eagle varieties, are each slightly different. 1796 BD-1 and BD-2 quarter eagles are No Stars obverse types, 1796 BD-3 is the With Stars obverse type, and 1797 BD-1 is the only 1797 quarter eagle variety.
Ex: Stuart Levine (8/1/2003); Ed Price Collection (Heritage, 7/2008), lot 1417, which realized $34,500.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 236F, PCGS# 4468)
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