NGC Discovers Extremely Rare Dime

Posted on 6/4/2013

1802 JR-1 variety dime graded by NGC is only the second known example.

SARASOTA, Fla. (June 3, 2013) — Numismatic Guaranty Corporation®(NGC®) has announced the discovery of the second known example of a previously unique 1802 dime die marriage. The coin was submitted to NGC for grading and attribution under NGC’s VarietyPlus™ service. The coin’s owner was unaware of its significance until alerted by NGC.

Early dimes from 1796 through 1837 are collected by JR varieties. The initials JR are a tribute to US Mint Engraver John Reich who created the Capped Bust Liberty design, and they also reflect the fact that the standard reference on early dimes was published by the John Reich Collectors Society (JRCS), a club dedicated to the study of all early United States silver and gold coins.

Variety JR-1 combines an obverse die used for three different die marriages of 1802 dimes with a reverse that is unique to the JR-1 marriage. The only example known until now had been the plate coin in the JRCS book Early United States Dimes 1796-1837. This was published in 1984, and, despite an excellent photo plate of that lightly worn coin, numismatists had been unsuccessful in locating a second specimen.

NGC Research Director David W. Lange was stunned when the final coin in a 15-piece submission matched the diagnostics for the JR-1 variety, a die marriage previously believed to be unique. The coin was quickly identified by Lange as having Obverse 1 for 1802, and it seemed that the only work left was to determine whether it was mated to Reverse B or C. When a cursory examination proved that the dime did not display either of the two anticipated reverses, Lange checked each reverse photograph again before comparing the coin against the photo plate and written description of Reverse A—the reverse used to strike JR-1.

There was immediately no doubt in his mind that this was indeed variety JR-1, but Lange sought further confirmation from two leading figures in the hobby. Brad Karoleff, President of the JRCS, shared NGC’s high resolution photographs with legendary dime and half dime collector Ed Price, and both concurred that this was indeed only the second known example of JR-1.

The coin was certified by NGC’s graders as having Good Details with surfaces that are repaired and whizzed. Nonetheless, the coin is still a rather attractive example of an early dime. It has even wear and a pleasing overall look though with the numerous tiny marks one would expect from many years of circulation. The submitter has not announced any plans for the rare piece.