Unique 1802 JR-1 Dime, AU Details
1802 10C AU Details, Scratched NCS. JR-1, R.8.
Although this light silver example has been cleaned and exhibits
peripheral pinscratches, mostly on the obverse, it also retains
fully reflective fields along with subtle pinkish-rose toning near
the borders. The strike is much finer than normally seen, although
the centers are a little weak. The obverse pinscratches are found
at stars 1-3 and 5-9, through and above LIBERTY, and near the hair
Die State. The obverse has faint clash marks near the throat, and a diagonal die line in the upper right obverse field that is approximately parallel to Liberty's upper profile.
Condition Census. Since the coin is unique, it is obviously also the finest example currently known!
Appearances. The plate coin in Early United States Dimes 1796-1837. Illustrated in the Copeland, Munoz, and Lovejoy catalogs.
Obverse Die. Tip of the hair curl is under the center of the B. Star 1 is distant from the hair curl, star 13 is closer to the drapery, and stars 7 and 8 are each very close to the L and Y. The 1 is close to the lower curl, and the 2 is about centered between the bust and border. The stars are all separated with star pairs 2-3 and 5-6 closer than the others. LIBERTY is evenly spaced with all letters separated and the L slightly low.
State a. Faint clash marks at the throat and a die line at upper right. State b. The die line is weak, probably due to die lapping.
Reverse Die. Star 1 is boldly recut with nine distinct points. The branch has five berries, and only the lowest berry is free of leaves. A leaf joins the right base of I. No letters touch, but AMER are extremely close. The first S is low and nearly touches the cloud below it. Star 12 joins the upper beak and star 13 is far from the eagle's head, pointing to the right side of U.
State a. A crack joins the right wing tip to the border at 2 o'clock. Faint clash marks are visible above the right wing. A vertical die line connects the left shield point to the scroll above.
Heritage Commentary. 1802 JR-1 is probably the first 1802 dime variety coined. The same obverse was used for 1802 JR-2 and JR-3, each in a later die state. The reverse was also used for 1802 BD-3, 1803 JR-1, and 1803 JR-5. The only delivery of dimes in 1802 consisted of 10,975 coins delivered on July 22. The few days before that date are probably a good estimate of the time these coins were struck.
When this coin was offered in 1967, it apparently went unrecognized as a new variety. At the time, Abe Kosoff's inadequate 1945 variety guide was the only published source of variety information. A decade earlier, J.G. Macallister wrote: "The years 1800, 1801, 1802 and 1803 offer but a single type of each year, and so far as we recall but a single pair of dies was used in each year." [The Coin Collector's Journal, October 1935, p. 139.]
In the 1982 Superior sale of the Munoz Collection, the variety was again offered unattributed, but now the aspiring dime book authors realized its importance. The catalog simply stated: "Low mintage date and very rare." Little did the catalogers know at the time of its true rarity. In the 1990 sale of the Allen F. Lovejoy Collection, Stack's finally published its importance as a unique variety.
Consignor Commentary. The coin sold for a surprisingly high price at the Superior Munoz sale in 1982. My understanding is that before this sale the dime book authors were not certain that the coin existed--having only seen the plate from the 1967 Stack's Copeland sale. Lovejoy was the high bidder at the Munoz sale--Subjack was the underbidder.
When I attended the Lovejoy sale in 1990, I still needed several of the rarest varieties. I bought nine coins (1796 JR-3 and JR-5, 1797 JR-1, 1800 JR-1, 1802 JR-1 and JR-3, 1803 JR-1, JR-2, and JR-4). Except for 1802 JR-1, all were later upgraded and sold.
When I attended that sale, I had not met any of the dime book authors. Before the sale I noticed that Jules Reiver was present and introduced myself to him and he briefly introduced me to all five dime book authors. Jules had written an interesting article on 1801 half dimes. I told him I was also researching 1801 half dimes and that I believed 1801 Valentine 1 and Valentine 2 were possibly die states of the same variety. That began a long friendship and many years of joint research on 1801 half dimes. In 1998 Jules and I published an article in the John Reich Journal (Volume 11, #3), "1801 Half Dimes Revisited," which concluded that 1801 V-1 and V-2 were indeed die states of the same variety. That article won the JRCS Jules Reiver Literary Award for 1998 and the findings were incorporated in the half dime book published later the same year.
In preparing for the Lovejoy sale, I really did not know what a rational price for the 1802 JR-1 would be. I knew it had sold for an unusually high price at the Munoz sale. At that point the dime book had been available for about six years and no others had been found. Of course, I understood that another, possibly better, one might be found at any time. The coin finally sold for $27,000 hammer. Bill Subjack was again the underbidder, needing only this coin for a complete collection. I still did not know if others would be found--but it's now been 23 years since the dime book was published, so it seems much less likely.
Shortly after the dime sale, I saw Bill Subjack at a meeting of the New Jersey Numismatic Society and we became friends. I learned a great deal about dimes from Bill and at the end of 1991 purchased his collection of Draped Bust dimes. Several of those coins are in this sale. Of particular importance, Bill had done the research for the chart at the back of the dime book explaining the relationship between the reverses of the early dimes and quarter eagles. I was intrigued by the use of common dies for both denominations and, with Bill's encouragement, went on to assemble the quarter eagle collection included in this sale.
Provenance. Bernard L. Copeland Collection (Stack's, 4/1967), lot 469; Munoz Sale, Part IV (Superior, 6/1982), lot 58; Allen F. Lovejoy (Stack's, 10/1990), lot 18.
From The Ed Price Collection.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 236K, PCGS# 4472)
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