Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Dimes
1838 LARGE STARS 10C MS

Description & Analysis

Nearly two million dimes were coined at the Philadelphia Mint in 1838, and all of these had an arc of stars on the obverse. Since this feature was not included on the master hub created in 1837, the stars had to be hand-punched into each working die. Thus, there relative positions will vary (note how the first three stars at left are crowded together on the illustrated example).

The Large Stars variety is not a variety at all; instead it represents the normal configuration for 1838 dimes and is labeled in this manner solely to distinguish these coins from the scarce Small Stars issue. Examples are common across all grades through gem Mint State, this being the result of both a high mintage and the novelty of the stars prompting many to save them as souvenirs.

A minor doubled-die reverse variety is known, this die being transitional with the earlier emission of Small Stars dimes. This date is rich in cracked die states, and these are included within the Top 100.