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    Description

    1805 Dime, JR-2, MS65
    Beautifully Toned 4 Berries Example

    1805 10C 4 Berries, JR-2, R.2, MS65 PCGS. CAC. As a date, the 1805 Draped Bust dime is one of the most frequently seen issues of the type in high grades, and is often encountered in type specialists' cabinets. A single obverse die was paired with two different reverse dies to strike the entirety of the 1805-dated dime production. Mint records report deliveries of 67,540 and 53,240 coins in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, although it is possible that a small amount of the pieces delivered in the third quarter were actually struck with 1804-dated dies, and that some of the first pieces struck in 1807 were coined with one of the 1805 die pairs. During this period, the Mint cared little if a die was outdated, as the primary focus was to draw as much life from each one as possible. In the early days of the Mint, when most of the secondary design elements were entered into the dies by hand, it would take an engraver a solid day to prepare just a single die. Multiply this by the number of dies needed for coinage of all denominations throughout the course of the year, and it becomes clear how important it was for the Mint to cut corners wherever possible.

    Modern researchers typically differentiate the two 1805 dime reverse dies by the number of berries on the olive branch, although there are other differences, as well. The JR-2 reverse exhibits the field stars in a triangular pattern, different from the arc pattern on the JR-1 reverse and notably similar to that seen on older, pre-1801 reverses. The style of the A punch is also different than on JR-1, being of the earlier style used during the same time as the triangular star arrangement. The authors of Early United States Dimes 1796 - 1837 suggest that perhaps the JR-2 reverse was actually prepared prior to 1801, but was unneeded for production before 1805, due to the limited number of dimes struck during the interim (just 108,680 coins in all). A definitive answer may never be known.

    The JR-2 die pairing accounts for most Mint State 1805 dimes known, although it is still conditionally rare in Gem and finer grades. This example displays satiny, golden-gray centers surrounded by original hues of olive, amber, violet, and sun-gold. The coin shows above-average sharpness for the issue, with only mild incompleteness on the central reverse and the left-hand obverse stars. Both sides are clashed and lightly cracked, as usual. The variety or type specialist will be hard-pressed to locate a visually finer piece. Population: 13 in 65, 9 finer (2/15). (NGC ID# 236S, Variety PCGS# 38769, Base PCGS# 4477)

    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
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
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