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    1796 Draped Bust Dime, MS65
    Ideal First-Year Type Coin
    Popular JR-6 Variety

    1796 10C JR-6, R.3, MS65 NGC. Although the denomination was authorized by the Mint Act of 1792, the Philadelphia Mint did not strike any dimes until 1796, when a small production total of 22,135 pieces was accomplished. Six different obverse and five different reverse dies were combined to produce seven distinct die varieties for the year, one of which was only discovered relatively recently. This coin represents the popular JR-6 variety, easily recognized by the dramatic die cracks through the date, the widely spaced letters in LIBERTY, and the position of the berries below the T in UNITED and the first T in STATES. The JR-6 is often called the "Hyphenated Date" variety, because of the prominent die cracks. The JR-6 is the second most available variety, accounting for about 30% of all 1796 dimes seen. This was the only use of both the obverse and reverse dies.

    The 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle dime is always in demand from type collectors and series specialists alike. Aside from its status as the first year of the denomination, it garners special attention as the first year of a two-year design type, since the Small Eagle reverse was retired after 1797. Some collectors actually consider it a one-year type, because it only shows 15 stars on the obverse, compared to the 13 and 16 star obverses employed on the 1797 varieties. The record price realized for a 1796 dime was the $881,250 brought by the magnificent MS67 PCGS example in lot 30229 of the Eugene Gardner Collection (Heritage, 6/2014).

    The coin offered here is a delightful Gem from a late state of the dies. The design elements are sharply detailed in most areas, despite the extensive network of die cracks that bisect the surfaces of both sides. No mentionable surface flaws are evident and there are no planchet adjustment marks. The well-preserved surfaces are blanketed in attractive shades of violet, blue, and golden-brown toning, with much prooflike reflectivity underneath. Eye appeal is spectacular. Census: 9 in 65, 9 finer (11/15). (NGC ID# 236B, Variety PCGS# 38747, Base PCGS# 4461)

    Weight: 2.70 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    6th-11th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
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