Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Dimes
1838 SMALL STARS DDR 10C MS

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.