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    Possibly the Finest Known 1802 Dime, JR-4 MS62

    1802 10C MS62 NGC. JR-4, R.4. Excellent surfaces exhibit satiny silver luster beneath light gold toning with sea-green dominant on the obverse. As usual for the Draped Bust dimes, the central obverse and reverse designs are blunt, with stronger peripheral elements.

    Die State.
    A small peanut-shaped rust pit is close to the end of the lower hair ribbon. Otherwise, both dies are perfect.

    Condition Census.
    This piece is believed the finest known example of the 1802 JR-4 die marriage. A small number of other Mint State pieces are known, all hovering around MS60.

    This piece is plated in the JR dime book.

    Obverse Die.
    Tip of the hair curl is under the right curves of the B. Stars 1, 7, 8, and 13 are all distant from the devices. Stars 8 and 9 are slightly closer than other star pairs. The 1 is close to the lowest curl and the 2 is about centered between the bust and the border. LIBERTY is widely spaced with all letters separated.
    State a. Perfect. State b. Cracked through star 7, below LI, and back through BE. State c. The area above the star b crack has raised to form a retained cud.

    Reverse Die. Lower beak pierces star 12.
    All three E's are missing their upper left serif. U is much closer to an arrow shaft than to border. First S is low. Upright of E is over space between clouds 4 and 5. Left base of first A in AMERICA is extremely close to third and fourth feathers. Bases of ME are joined and RI are very close. Final A is distant from both the claw and lowest leaf. Five berries in branch with three lowest berries free of leaves. A leaf tip ends just right of base of I but does not touch. Outer arrow point is below right edge of U. Arrows extend below center of left upright of N. Thirteen stars with normal arrangement of six in the top row and five below. Star 2 is separated from clouds and below left base of A. Star 7 is left of vertical below star 2. Star 12 joins upper and lower points of beak. Star 13 is high above scroll and points to left upright of U.
    State a. Perfect.

    Heritage Commentary.
    When Harold Bareford owned this specimen, he wrote on his envelope: "This is the finest specimen offered or that I have seen. Superb in every respect with mint lustre."

    Consignor Commentary.
    This is the finest I have seen or heard of. There are some other Uncirculated 1802 JR-4 dimes. The dime book says "Not more than three specimens exist in MS-60 or better grade." This is consistent with my experience. They called this coin the finest seen and graded it MS-63. In 1997, the Pittman coin was described as "one of the two finest specimens known. Only the Bareford-Lovejoy-Menjou coin seems to rival this coin in terms of overall quality." I saw the Pittman coin at the sale and two years later when it resold. The scratch across the obverse field is very distracting. I believe it is not nearly as desirable as this coin or even as the Eliasberg coin. I also owned the Eliasberg coin for several years. It was a very Choice AU coin that did rival this coin in overall appearance, but was clearly not quite this nice. The Bolen coin was Choice AU. Norweb and Garrett had only lower grade 1802's.

    Ex: Adolphe Menjou Sale (Numismatic Gallery, 6/1950), lot 154; Harold Bareford (Stack's, 10/1981), lot 145; Allen Lovejoy (Stack's, 10/1990), lot 21; Andrew Hain (Stack's, 1/2002), lot 1141.
    From The Ed Price Collection.
    (Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 236K, PCGS# 4472)

    Weight: 2.70 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

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

    View all of [Ed Price Collection ]

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2008
    30th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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