Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Dimes (1837-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Catalog: KM-63.1
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 2.67 Grams
ASW: 0.0773oz
Melt Value: $1.13 (8/30/2015)
Diameter: 17.9mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1838 SMALL STARS DDR 10C MS obverse 1838 SMALL STARS DDR 10C MS reverse

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions (
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Description & Analysis

The first emission of dimes from the Philadelphia Mint in 1838 bore stars applied with the small punch also used for half dimes. Whether this was a mistake or intentional is not known.

Perhaps a single punch was intended for both denominations until the coiners saw the result and determined that a larger punch was needed for dimes. In any case, the Small Stars obverse die began to fail fairly quickly, with the result that an estimated 30,000 pieces were made before it became unusable. This was paired with a reverse die that featured doubling of letter D in DIME. The die state with cracked obverse is a Top 100 variety.

This variety is scarce across all grades. Mint State pieces are seldom encountered, and gems are extremely rare.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/15/2015

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

Base $ 27.00 37.00 55.00 95.00 205 370 400 480 625 825 1025 1450 2550 6250 8750 18500 39000 - -
$ 240 - 430 525 660 900 1125 1700 2800 6900 - - -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Total Graded: 71
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/20/1996 PCGS AU 58   Teletrade Auction 0895, 895/Lot# 1277 $348.80
5/31/2004 NGC MS 63   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 567 $1,668.00
4/16/2008 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2008 April Rosemont, IL (CSNS) Signature Coin Auction #1104, 1104/Lot# 553 $747.50
1/5/2011 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(6), 1151/Lot# 10092 $546.25
8/2/2012 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia Session(5), 1173/Lot# 7780 $188.00
3/23/2014 PCGS VF 20   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 796, 805/Lot# 826 $1,675.00
3/28/2014 PCGS MS 65   Stack's Bowers March 2014 Baltimore Auction, 6008/Lot# 5223 $4,112.50
10/12/2014 PCGS VF 25   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 225667 $122.00

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