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Description and Analysis

Early Dimes
1798/7 16 STARS REV JR-1 10C MS

Description & Analysis

The admission of Tennessee to the Union in 1796 brought the number of states up to 16, and the Mint attempted to fit that number of stars on the obverse. This proved to be cumbersome, and a solution was sought by boosting the number of stars above the eagle from 13 to 16. This reverse die was used first to coin 1797 quarter eagles before being paired with an obverse die for the dime.

JR-1 features the large date 1797 overpunched with a small 8 that does a very poor job of concealing the underlying 7. This variety is not rare in circulated grades, but Mint State pieces are more elusive. A small number of gems are known, a rare occurrence indeed with early United States coins.