Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dimes (1837-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Catalog: KM-62.1
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 1.34 Grams
ASW: 0.0388oz
Melt Value: $0.80 (7/30/2014)
Diameter: 15.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1838 SMALL STARS H10C MS obverse 1838 SMALL STARS H10C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

There was only single star punched used to apply stars to the obverse of 1838 half dimes, and this variety is actually just a late state of dies that originally had normal stars. Deep die clashing is evident above the bow on the reverse, and this clashing incident, combined with an obvious die crack on the obverse, prompted a severe refinishing of the obverse die. This action diminished several of the stars to the point where they are shallow and seemingly of smaller diameter.

This reduction of the stars did not occur in a single stage, and there are intermediate coins that reveal only partial diminishing of the stars. These are sometimes offered as the Small Stars variety, but it is only when the stars appear as they do in the example above that NGC will label a coin as Small Stars.

Though really a die state and not a true variety, this coin is popular with collectors and does carry a noticeable premium. Mint State examples are very scarce.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 5/6/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1838 SMALL STARS H10C MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 24.00 32.50 58.00 110 190 190 335 350 435 550 700 775 1000 1275 1900 3750 6000 - - - -
$ 220 350 385 475 575 750 850 1100 1475 2300 4250 8500 - -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 41
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/8/1994 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 1994 Indianapolis Bullet Sale #117, 117/Lot# 187 $1,540.00
1/30/2005 NGC MS 66   Teletrade Auction 1994, 1994/Lot# 1238 $3,850.00
6/23/2013 NGC AU 50   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131327/Lot# 26538 $211.50
7/21/2013 PCGS XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 761, 770/Lot# 66 $300.00
7/27/2013 PCGS   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 30341 $397.15
11/1/2013 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2013 November 1 - 3 US Coin Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1191/Lot# 3273 $646.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1838 SMALL STARS H10C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3456310218339553966377784794510051036117913331505275435254431102811637126288
1751761292534435807018008799651015108312301390192130113827638112311196760
000000580701800879965101510831230139019213011382763811231100
000000621739823912985102511311281144723373268412983311434100
1838 SMALL STARS H10C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base0000000000000000000000
0000000000000000000000
0000000000000000000000
0000000000000000000000
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