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    1798/97 Dime, JR-1, MS65
    Remarkable 16 Stars Reverse Type Coin

    1798/97 10C 16 Stars Reverse, JR-1, R.3, MS65 PCGS. Among Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle dimes, only the 1805 and 1807 issues are generally available in Mint State. The 1798 is scarce in Uncirculated condition, with most such pieces representing the JR-1 and JR-4 die marriages. JR-1 has the distinction of being the only 1798 variety with the 16 Stars reverse. The distinctive tail die was previously used to strike 1797-dated quarter eagles, for which only a single rare variety is known.

    Condition Census JR-1 dimes appear at auction so rarely that one begins to question the accuracy of the population reports, especially that of PCGS. A half dozen Gems are the finest at PCGS (one being MS65+), while NGC lists seven coins in this grade and two MS66 pieces finer (10/17). The NGC coins dominate the auction market. In more than two decades, we have previously handled only one PCGS-graded Gem JR-1 coin, in the Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part III (Heritage, 5/2015), lot 98201, which realized $76,375.

    This piece exhibits the familiar lapped and clashed obverse die, which is shared by the rare JR-2 13 Stars Reverse die marriage. Clash marks are visible through the date and in the left and right fields, but not on the reverse. The small 8 in the date is punched over a substantially larger 7 underdigit, with a corner protruding from the top right of the 8. On this die state of the 16 Stars reverse, a small die crack runs from star 10 to the eagle's head.

    Each side offers softly frosted luster with light silver-gray surfaces that show glimpses of champagne-gold close to the margins. The strike is soft at the central reverse, as usual for this variety. The obverse is better-struck but shows minor weakness on the left-hand stars and below Liberty's ear. Close study with a loupe fails to reveal any notable abrasions, and eye appeal is consistent with expectations for such a high grade. We look forward to placing this Condition Census JR-1 dime in a landmark early type collection.
    Ex: Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 5/2009), lot 402. (NGC ID# 236F, Variety PCGS# 38750, Base PCGS# 4468)

    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, 2018
    3rd-8th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
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