Description and Analysis
Seated Liberty Dimes
1863 10C MS
Description & Analysis
By 1863 silver coins were traded for a significant premium over the value of federal paper currency, and they were not seen in daily commerce, except in the Far West. There the inflationary economy rendered the dime the smallest coin in use, and silver circulated freely.
It appears that this small mintage of dimes at the Philadelphia Mint was produced primarily for the purpose of paying off the Mint's bullion depositors to the exact amount due them. The demand from collectors was solely for proofs until decades later. The same die pair was used for both editions.
With little likelihood of circulation, it's not surprising that the surviving population of 1863(P) dimes is skewed toward Mint State grades or just faintly worn pieces. Well worn examples are more rare than unworn dimes for this and most P-Mint issues of the mid 1860s.