The Finest Known 1804 JR-1 13 Stars Dime, AU55
1804 10C 13 Stars on Reverse AU55 NGC. JR-1, R.5.
Original grayish-brown surfaces exhibit traces of rose, gold, and
blue toning on each side. This sharply struck example has excellent
central detail, including full breast feathers above the field. A
single curved vertical scratch crosses the horizontal shield lines,
but otherwise the surfaces are exceptional.
Die State. The obverse has a tiny die crack extending from the dentils between stars 8 and 9, about halfway to the stars. There are some prominent die defects in the field near Liberty's throat, and clash marks behind the lower curls toward star 2. The reverse appears perfect.
Condition Census. Considered the finest known 1804 JR-1 dime, and one of the four or five finest 1804 dimes of either variety.
Appearances. Plated in the Pittman catalog and in the 2005 American Numismatic Rarities catalog.
Obverse Die. The 1 joins the lowest curl and the 4 is about centered between the bust and the border. LIBERTY is widely spaced with LIB closer than BERTY. Stars 1 and 7 are far from the curl and L, star 8 is closer to the Y, and star 13 is closest to the drapery.
State a. Perfect. State b. A short die crack from a dentil extends into the field between stars 8 and 9. State c. Clash marks develop around the lower curls toward star 2.
Reverse Die. All three E's are missing the 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 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 this letter. 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 oriented 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. State b. The die has been lapped with several fragmented leaves.
Heritage Commentary. The 1804 dime is a well-known rarity in the spectrum of early silver coinage. The date is unknown in strict Mint State, unless one agrees with Ed Price, as we do, that the JR-2 in the next lot is just that. No obverse die cracks are evident on this example, clearly proving that it (and other JR-1 dimes) were coined before the JR-2 dimes.
Consignor Commentary. This is easily the finest I have seen or heard of. Generally, when a coin of interest became available, Stu Levine and I would discuss the appropriate price to pay and Stu would know he had some leeway beyond that. In this case, I just told Stu to buy it. He did.
I have owned several of these including the James A. Stack coin, a lovely Choice XF with light pinscratches; and the Bolen coin that is plated in the dime book, previously from Lovejoy, Bareford, and Parmelee, a very well struck AU with several strong scratches across the obverse. Other higher grade pieces include the Eliasberg coin, AU50 but gouged; the Garrett VF example; and the Norweb VG-Fine coin.
Provenance. Barney Bluestone (12/1945), lot 1341; John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 10/1997), lot 541; American Numismatic Rarities (1/2005), lot 342.
From The Ed Price Collection.(Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# 236M, PCGS# 4474)
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