Condition Census 1797 Dime, JR-1, MS65
1797 10C 16 Stars MS65 PCGS. JR-1, R.4. Ex: Menjou/Pittman.
This coin was previously certified MS66 NGC. The 1797 Draped Bust
dime is an underrated date in the series, especially in Mint State
grades. Mint records indicate 25,261 Draped Bust dimes were struck
in 1797, the second year of the denomination. However, recent
research indicates that 10,244 of these coins were actually dated
1796, making the 1797 dime about twice as rare as the 1796 issue.
Only two die varieties are known for the date, one with 16 obverse
stars and the other with 13 stars.
Only Two Finer Coins at PCGS
The present coin represents the JR-1 variety, with the 16 star obverse, denoting the admission of Tennessee to the Union. Researchers believe all examples of the JR-1 were included in the delivery of 9,099 pieces on May 26, 1797. The surviving population probably numbers between 76 and 200 examples in all grades today. Mint State specimens are very rare.
This coin traces its history to the famous collection of John Jay Pittman, a collector known for his insistence on high quality. Pittman believed this piece was the finest-known 1797 dime, and it is hard to imagine an example with more technical virtues and eye appeal. When David Akers described this coin in 1997, he noted:
"Very Choice Uncirculated, a virtual Gem. Very sharply struck with excellent centering and broad, even denticles all around. A lustrous, original specimen with superb light reddish-gold toning. The obverse is mostly frosty, the reverse semi-prooflike and of Gem quality....Whenever JJP displayed it (the last time at the 1991 ANA Centennial Convention in Chicago), this 1797 Dime always attracted a great deal of attention, and it is certainly one of the highlights of his outstanding Dime collection."
We have nothing to add to Akers' glowing summary. Population: 1 in 65, 2 finer (11/12).
Ex: Adolphe Menjou Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 6/1950), lot 145; John Jay Pittman; John Jay Pittman Collection (David Akers, 10/1997), lot 533.
From The Liberty Collection.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 236C, PCGS# 4462)
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