The NGC Universal ID is a four digit alphanumeric that groups coins based on a unique combination of date, mintmark, denomination and striking process (MS, PF, or SP). These IDs are a simple organization of all coins prior to variety attribution and grading.
In his 1988 Encyclopedia, Breen says of the 1844 dime that there are ?Possibly 8 proofs.? Our roster below shows just seven different examples, with two additional appearances. Akers opined that just six to eight proofs are known, consistent with our own observations.
The 1844 dime is dubbed ?The Little Orphan Annie? and is extremely popular among collectors. Walter Breen attributes the nickname to Frank C. Ross, a Kansas City area writer who hoarded the issue at one time. Ross apparently gave no reason for the nickname, and Breen suggested it was an early instance of ?media hype.? Today, the nickname remains attached to the issue as a pleasant reminder of numismatic history.
A roster of 1844 proof dimes follows:
1. PR66 NGC. Numismatic Gallery (4/1948), John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 10/1997), lot 833, Philip Kaufman (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 3024.
2. PR65 Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Merena, 5/1996), lot 1130, $88,000.
3. PR64 NGC Ex: Richmond. Heritage (4/2005), lot 23192, Heritage (7/2005), lot 10158.
4. PR64 PCGS. Heritage (12/1986), lot 362, Heritage (7/2003), lot 6568, Heritage (1/2008), lot 2763.
5. PR63 NGC. 1971 ANA (Stack?s, 8/1971), lot 663, Lovejoy Collection (Stack's 10/1990), lot 223.
6. PR63. Bowers and Ruddy (1/1975), lot 220, Bowers and Ruddy (5/1976), lot 309, Bowers and Ruddy (2/1977), lot 106, RARCOA (8/1990), lot 605, Heritage (4/2009), lot 2260 (not sold, Heritage (7/2009), lot 448 (not sold).
7. Proof. Smithsonian Institution.
A. Proof. Kreisberg-Schulman (3/1964), lot 2996, Quality Sales (9/1973), lot 731. This piece could be number 4, 5, or 7 in our roster. The plate is not suitable for study.
B. Proof. Dunham Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1941), lot 171. The Dunham catalog image may or may not be the actual coin that Mehl sold. He often used stock photos. The Dunham example could be any of the coins listed above, except for the Smithsonian Institution specimen.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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