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    1798/97 Dime, MS62
    Very Rare JR-2, 13 Stars Reverse
    Tied for Second Finest Known

    1798/97 10C 13 Stars Reverse, JR-2, R.6, MS62 NGC. Satiny luster resides beneath an overlay of blended olive, amber, and golden-gray toning on each side of this Mint State JR-2 representative, a very rare die pairing. A few light adjustment marks are discernable in the central obverse, but no major abrasions are seen. The peripheries exhibit pleasing definition even while the centers are weakly struck, as is characteristic of this variety.

    Variety: JR-2, R.6. An underlying 7 is plainly visible beneath the 8 in the date on this variety, which shares a head die with the other overdate, JR-1. Heavy clash marks are present on the obverse from this die's previous marriage. The lowest hair curl is defective, seen on both uses of this obverse.

    JR-2 is by far the rarer of the two overdates, characterized by the 13 Stars reverse. It is also the rarest of the four 1798 dime varieties overall, being seen less often than the JR-3 normal date die pairing, the other variety that is notably rare. PCGS estimates only 20 to 30 examples of JR-2 survive in all grades.

    Population Data (3/15): For the 1798/97 13 Stars reverse (base and JR-2) the combined NGC and PCGS population in all grades is just 25 submissions, although even those data likely include duplications. NGC reports three JR-2 examples in Mint State, including one MS61 and two MS62; PCGS lists three Uncirculated pieces -- two MS62 and one MS63 finer. This tally has remained constant for more than seven years.

    Heritage Commentary: The sole finest of this variety is the Ed Price coin, the MS63 PCGS example, which we offered in our 2008 Baltimore ANA sale, lot 1418; the coin realized $103,500. The authors of Early United States Dimes 1796-1837 recalled the Bareford coin, plated in the book and graded by them as MS63, to be the finest they had seen, although that piece has now been certified by PCGS as "just" AU58.

    The present piece is definitively tied for the second-finest known and is the third MS62 example we have handled. One of the two MS62 PCGS examples was offered in our February 2005 Long Beach Signature sale, lot 6174, realizing $83,375. The other MS62 PCGS coin changed hands in our April 2009 Central States Signature, lot 2213, for $54,625, and again in our 2014 FUN Signature for $58,750. This is the first time we have offered the present example, and we expect spirited bidding from early dime specialists when this high Condition Census rarity crosses the block.

    Provenance: James A. Stack, Sr. Collection (Stack's, 1/1990), lot 6; Dr. Byron C. Pevehouse & Lester Gann Davis Collections (American Numismatic Rarities, 10/2004), lot 281. (NGC ID# 236G, Variety PCGS# 38751, Base PCGS# 4469)

    Weight: 2.70 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    12th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,303

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