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    Near-Gem 1796 Dime, JR-1
    Heavily Clashed Dies on Each Side

    1796 10C MS64 NGC. JR-1, R.3. This dime variety is identified by the cud near star 1 and the trio of fine die cracks that reach the eagle's right (facing) wing. The 1796 dime was the first coin of this denomination issued by the United States. Accordingly, the issue enjoys great popularity with both type collectors and series enthusiasts. The reported mintage was only 22,135 pieces, with six die varieties known for the date. The present JR-1 variety is the one most often encountered today. According to the authors of Early United States Dimes, "about 40% to 45% of all 1796 dimes" are represented by the JR-1 variety.
    The 1796 dime was popular with early collectors and appeared in many auction catalogs of the 1860s. A typical appearance, and one that resembles the present coin, took place in lot 732 of the Mendes I. Cohen Collection (Edward Cogan, 10/1875), "1796 Unusually fine. A slight scratch on the neck, and very desirable in this condition." If Cogan was mistaking a color streak on the coin for a scratch, he might have been describing this identical coin.
    This piece is undoubtedly one of the finest examples known. It is difficult to imagine a coin with more flash and eye appeal than this stunning specimen. The devices are generally well brought up, with only a hint of incompleteness at the center of the eagle's breast. The fields are bright and prooflike, as is sometimes seen on examples struck from the JR-1 dies. The surfaces are brilliant, aside from a slender diagonal gray streak across Liberty's neck. Each die has boldly clashed on the other, creating backwards impressions of one side upon the other. Much of the 1796 can be read backwards beneath STATES, and the date shows a backwards ATES, and similarly throughout. The reverse die shows multiple branching die cracks and appears close to shattering. An absolutely stunning early dime. Census: 17 in 64, 19 finer (3/12).
    Ex: Superior (8/2002), lot 1577; Richard J. Chouinard Collection of United States Coins, Part One / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2005), lot 30156; Aspen Collection / ANA Signature (Heritage, 7/2008), lot 1598. (Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 236B, 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
    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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