Description and Analysis
Seated Liberty Half Dimes
1858 H10C MS
Description & Analysis
Though it enjoyed only half the mintage of 1857 Philadelphia Mint half dimes, this issue is more plentiful across all grades. Even gems are not too challenging to locate, though most will be less than fully struck.
This was the last of the high mintage half dimes for several years, as the Treasury Department clamped down of Mint Director Snowden's unauthorized policy of distributing fractional silver coins in exchange for deposits of silver bullion. Such coins were in oversupply until the Civil War led to hoarding in 1862, at which time all silver and gold disappeared from circulation except in the Far West.
Two of the more appealing varieties for the series are found with this issue. FS-301 has an entirely duplicated date, the first impression being far too high and then corrected. FS-302 is even more dramatic, with the first date impression being completely upside down. It's easy to see how this could happen, as all four figures of the date were applied with a single gang punch.
Far less spectacular, but still interesting, is the coin shown. Not only is it quite well struck for an 1858(P) half dime, but it also shows very prominent die-clash impressions from the dies striking one another multiple times due to a planchet mis-feed.