Near-Gem 1869 Pattern Dime, Judd-7141869 10C Ten Cents, Judd-714, Pollock-793, R.7, PR64 PCGS. 30.2 grains. The obverse is similar to the regular issue, but without the date in exergue. The reverse has the legend SIL. 9 / NIC.1 / 1869. A SEM-EDX analysis (#3504488) was performed at one time (the paperwork is now missing), indicating that the coin is 75.7% copper and 23.9 % nickel, with traces of iron (0.2%) and cobalt (0.2%). That is to say, it is coin nickel alloy, not the silver/nickel alloy suggested on the reverse of the coin. The rarity rating above is for the combination of cupro-nickel and silver-nickel (if in fact, any silver-nickel specimens of this design exist). Three examples have been SEM-EDX tested and all three proved to be cupro-nickel. Silver and nickel are basically incompatible as an alloy. Struck with a reeded edge. The coin has a bright silvery appearance and each side is lightly draped with rose and lilac patina and there are no large or offensive contact marks on either side.
From the Gene Wolfe Collection, Mr. Wolfe acquired this coin from New England Rare Coin Auctions, July 23-24, 1976, lot 1322. He calculated the coin's specific gravity at 9.06. Other examples of Judd-714 patterns can be found in the following museum collections: The American Numismatic Society Collection, the Byron Reed Collection at the Western Heritage Museum, and the J. C. Mitchelson Connecticut State Library Collection. (NGC ID# 93KZ, PCGS# 60939)
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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