1801 10C MS61 PCGS....
Probable Finest Known 1801 JR-2 Dime, MS611801 10C MS61 PCGS. JR-2, R.5. A sharply defined Mint State example with frosty mint luster on both sides. On the reverse, star 4 is weak as usual, but adjacent stars and clouds are boldly brought up. The devices have pleasing ivory color with steel-blue toning in the fields, providing an excellent cameo appearance. The borders are narrow but complete around the entire circumference. Scattered marks on each side are trivial at best. This is a highly appealing example and an important opportunity for the advanced collector.
Die State. A late die state with the usual die rust on the obverse. The reverse die cracks noted in the previous lot are advanced, with the crack down through F and the crack up through the arrows now joined at the eagle's head, forming a single bisecting die crack. The crack curving down through E and the top leaf is heavier, and can be traced along much of the right shield border and across the tail feathers.
Condition Census. It is believed that this is the finest known 1801 JR-2 dime. We offered an NGC-graded MS62 example in our January 2004 auction, lot 2029, that visually appears no finer than the present piece. One other MS61 PCGS coin recently appeared in the March 2005 Bowers and Merena sale, lot 432, appearing similar to this piece but with less eye appeal. In their May 2006 auction, the Goldbergs offered an MS61 coin that they described as JR-2, but the catalog photo depicts an example of JR-1.
Appearances. Plated in the September 2002 Bowers and Merena catalog.
Obverse Die. The date is closely spaced with both 1's separated from the device. Stars 1 and 7 are equally distant from the curl and L, star 8 is very close to the Y, and star 13 is close to the drapery. All stars are widely spaced with none touching. LIB are closely spaced with BERTY widely spaced. The R was first entered too low, and corrected. A vertical spine from the curl tip nearly reaches the left base of the E.
State a. Perfect die, may not exist. State b. Severely rusted die. State c. Lapped die, probably does not exist on JR-1.
Reverse Die. Leaf tip below center of C, diagnostic. Stars are arranged with six in the top row, the usual star pattern. Star 4 is usually weak or absent, as it is on this example. Star 12 joins the lower beak and ribbon, but is separated from the upper beak. All letters in the legend are separated, although AME are quite close with A slightly higher than M at its base. A leaf point is merged with the right base of I. The branch has five berries, although the upper outside berry is almost lost in severe localized die rust.
State a. Without die cracks. State b. Cracked from F to cloud and stars, from border to arrow butts, claw, and shield, and through E of AMERICA to the top leaf and shield. State c. The first two cracks of State b join at the eagle's head.
Heritage Commentary. The dime book authors attempted to match individual delivery records with specific varieties. They suggest that the first 1801 delivery consisted of 1800 dimes, that the September 30th delivery consisted of 1801 JR-1 dimes, and that the two December deliveries consisted of 1801 JR-2 dimes, or possibly even some dimes dated 1802.
The problem with this line of reasoning is that they rated JR-1 as R.4 and JR-2 as R.5. Since the September delivery was 8,120 coins and the two December deliveries totaled 17,260 coins, 1801 JR-2 dimes in existence today should outnumber JR-1 dimes by two to one.
Consignor Commentary. This is the finest 1801 JR-2 dime I have seen. All of the really nice Mint State coins are JR-1. I have not seen another true Uncirculated JR-2. Lovejoy's coin was XF, and it is plated in the dime book. Bill Subjack owned the coin that is called finest seen in the dime book, and described as MS60. Subjack graded that coin Choice AU. It is not nearly as nice as this coin or as nice as the coin in the Logan sale, from the James Stack Collection.
Provenance. Bowers and Merena (9/2002), lot 192.
From The Ed Price Collection.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 236J, PCGS# 4471)
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