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1841-O 10C Fine 15 NGC. Closed Bud, Large O Reverse. Fortin-101, R.7. A bit of background information is necessary to under...

2007 St. Louis, MO (CSNS) Signature Coin Auction #434

 
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Auction Ended On: May 10, 2007
Item Activity: 9 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: St. Louis, MO
Description:
Rare 'Closed Bud, Large O Reverse' 1841-O Dime, Fine 15
1841-O 10C Fine 15 NGC. Closed Bud, Large O Reverse. Fortin-101, R.7. A bit of background information is necessary to understand the rarity and importance of this variety. John McCloskey wrote of these pieces--which Kamal Ahwash apparently discovered sometime in the late 1970s--in the July 1981 Gobrecht Journal:

"New Orleans dimes were first struck in 1838 and for the first three years of dime production at the facility, a No Drapery obverse design was used. The obverse was then modified to a new With Drapery design that appeared for the first time in 1841 at the branch mint facility. Not as well known is the fact that the reverse design was also modified after three years of dime production in New Orleans. From 1838 to 1840 a closed bud reverse design was used on all New Orleans dimes. In 1841 a new reverse design with open buds in the wreath was introduced into New Orleans dime production. We thus had a new obverse design and a new reverse design for the production of 1841-O dimes. The mintmarks on the new reverses used in 1841 were all small and round and centered under the left leg of the M in DIME within the wreath."

A club member wrote McCloskey and reported an 1841-O dime with the Closed Bud reverse, and then the race was on. He and Ahwash looked at hundreds of 1841-O dimes. They found very few with the old reverse. The pieces were considered a transitional variety. Then in April 1981 a second transitional variety was discovered with the Small Mintmark.
All Closed Bud 1841-O dimes are rare. Just how rare is a matter of some conjecture, but in Brian Greer's reference on Seated dimes (1992) he reported that only 10 examples of the Small O and 20 pieces of the Large O were known. We have only offered one other Closed Bud reverse 1841-O in the past 15 years, and that was a Small O coin that had been cleaned. The surfaces of this piece are deep gray-burgundy with near-brilliance over the highpoints. The surfaces are uncleaned and show only the slight imperfections one would expect from 45 points of wear. One of the keys to the Seated dime series, this coin will undoubtedly be a highlight of an advanced collection of this popular series.(Registry values: N69) (NGC ID# 2385, PCGS# 4580)

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