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Legendary Choice Proof 1844 'Little Orphan Annie' Dime

1844 10C PR64 PCGS. Although proof coinage totals for many early U.S. issues before 1858 are either sketchy or nonexistent, Walter Breen and later authorities have estimated that perhaps eight pieces of the Seated Liberty dime were produced. Heritage is pleased and proud to offer two proof 1844 dimes in the present sale, the Philip Kaufman example and the present piece, graded PR64 by PCGS (previously PR63 PCGS). This coin issue is well-known to numismatists as the "Little Orphan Annie" dime, a case of early hype attributed to Kansas City coin dealer Frank C. Ross.
The business strike 1844 Seated dime, produced to the extent of 72,500 pieces, is, according to Greer's Completed Guide to Liberty Seated Dimes, "not as tough as the 1846 [but] it is still scarce in all grades. Rare in XF. Currently under very heavy demand." Of course, as a proof coin with possibly only seven pieces surviving, the present piece is immeasurably rarer than the business strikes. Both sides display considerable luster, with champagne-pink, ice-blue, and silver surfaces that cede to darker peripheral areas of russet-gray. There are a couple of paper-thin straight hairlines in the obverse fields, visible only under a loupe. The strike is expectedly sharp, with squared-off rims on each side. Liberty's head details, gown clasp, sandals, and the star centrils on the obverse are all well articulated, and neither is there any weakness visible on the reverse.
Some cameo effect is noted on each side, although unmentioned on the PCGS encapsulation. The date is entered high in the die, and slopes upward a bit from left to right, so that the last 4 in the date is nearer to Liberty's rock than the 1. The pendant on Liberty's gown is a bit to the left of the upright of 4 in the date, and the shield is upright. The bottom left serif of the 1 in the date is over the right side of a dentil.
This stunning and exceedingly rare coin, a legendary rarity, should appeal both to collectors of early proof type coins, as well as to the legions of Seated Liberty collectors. Population: 2 in 64, 1 finer (12/07).
Ex: Heritage (12/1986), lot 362; Heritage (7/2003), lot 6568, as PR63 PCGS; upgraded to PR64 PCGS. (NGC ID# 23BY, PCGS# 4731)

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Auction Dates
January, 2008
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 3
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