Description and Analysis
Seated Liberty Dimes
1870 10C PF
Description & Analysis
The reported mintage for 1870 proof dimes is 1,000 pieces, but it's doubtful that all of these were sold. There's no reason to believe that demand rose that dramatically from 1869, as there was no coin of speculative interest included within the 1870 silver proof set.
According to Seated Liberty Dime researcher Gerry Fortin, two die marriages are known for 1870 proofs. Only a single reverse die was employed, this paired with two different obverses.
The quality of the U. S. Mint's proof coins declined from roughly 1870 through the late 1880s. This may explain the extreme rarity of Ultra Cameo examples and the higher than usual rarity of Cameo coins. Another manifestation of this diminished quality is that the fields rarely display the perfectly flat, mirrorlike quality of earlier issues. Proof dimes of this period may also have distracting lines and areas of incomplete striking. The coin illustrated is a good example, as the upper left part of the wreath is no sharper than on most currency pieces.