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Description

Elusive Mint State 1802 Dime, JR-4

1802 10C MS60 PCGS. JR-4, R.4. This is the fourth and most "common" variety of the 1802 dime, an issue that is very scarce to rare overall, with two of the four die marriages considered very rare to unique. The JR-4 die pairing mates the Obverse 2-Reverse D dies according to the authors' schema, with the obverse used only for this single dime variety: The tip of Liberty's back wave of hair atop her head is under the curves of the B in LIBERTY. Star 8 is relatively far from the Y in LIBERTY, which is evenly spaced and has no touching letters. The present piece is an early die state, with no trace of the later massive crack that would form from star 7 through the lower part of BE to the rim.
The reverse of this die pairing, however, is among the more famous and illustrious in early U.S. numismatics, having been used not only for the 1802 JR-4 and 1804 JR-1 die marriages among the dimes, but also for the 1802 BD-2 and 1804 BD-1 pairings among the quarter eagle denomination. The Mint used several different reverse dies interchangeably among the dime and quarter eagle denominations, as most notably collected by Ed Price, whose unique assemblage of dimes and quarter eagles produced from these dual-denomination dies we offered in Platinum Night of our July 2008 ANA Signature Sale.
The reverse of this dime was also used for the famous 1804 13 Stars dime and quarter eagle rarities, JR-4 and BD-1, respectively. The eagle's lower beak pierces star 12, and all three E's are missing their upper left serifs. The U is much closer, nearly touching an arrow shaft, than to the border. The first S in STATES is low. The arrows extend below the center of the left upright of the N. The 13 stars are arranged normally, with six in the top row and five below. Star 12 joins the upper and lower points of the beak, while star 13 is high above the scroll and pointing to the left upright of the U.
Although this piece is strictly Mint State, the MS60 grade, possibly conservative, is explained by the central strike weakness and somewhat subdued mint luster. The original surfaces show small areas that are still silvery, complementing areas of amber-gold and light blue toward the rims on each side. In MS60 this piece is probably near the lower end of the Condition Census for both the date and the variety. (Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 236K, PCGS# 4472)

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Auction Dates
January, 2009
7th-11th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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