Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Dimes
1838 O 10C MS

Description & Analysis

The Philadelphia Mint shipped two pairs of dime dies to the New Orleans Mint on April 9, but these did not arrive in the Crescent City until May 3. The first dimes were struck four days later, but these 30 pieces were earmarked for presentation purposes. The real coinage began in June, with a subsequent press run in July. A few thousand more were coined early the following year from the second pair of dies.

Why the obverse dies lacked stars is unclear, as all of those coined at the Philadelphia Mint in 1838 had these added by hand to each working die. This issue is thus popular with both type and date/mint collectors.

One of the two reverse dies features a repunched mintmark, but the overall rarity of this issue precludes any significant pursuit of varieties.

Most of the presentation pieces seem to have been lost, and precious few of the currency issue were preserved in Mint State. Such survivors are very rare, with nearly all known 1838 O dimes being quite worn. High grade examples may show erosion of the denticulated borders from overuse of the dies.