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Scarce AU-55 (PCGS) 1838-O Liberty Seated Dime Featured in our May 2019 Baltimore Auction

The
No Stars Liberty Seated dime design of 1837 and 1838 is often considered
Christian Gobrecht’s “little masterpiece.” Uncluttered by stars to either side,
Liberty sits majestically at center, placed upon a perfectly sized canvas that accents
the symbolism of the obverse motif without the distractions of Liberty’s
drapery folds or the intricacies of her hair that sometimes draw the eye on the
larger coin. This design was short-lived, however, as stars were added to the
obverse field in 1838. This modified design was featured on all dimes struck by
the Philadelphia Mint that year and would be introduced at the New Orleans Mint
in 1839.

Of
the three No Stars issues, including both the Small Date and Large Date
varieties of 1837, the 1838-O is the scarcest and most celebrated. Just 489,034
examples were struck utilizing a single obverse die and two reverse dies,
resulting in two distinct die pairings for the year. Popular as a type coin and
also among specialists, it was the first issue struck at the New Orleans Branch
Mint in May of 1838. Most pieces are heavily worn and Uncirculated examples are
incredibly elusive. Writing for the website seateddimevarieties.com, specialist
Gerry Fortin states that the 1838-O dime is, “A difficult date in AU or
better with few Mint State examples known.”  

We
are delighted to offer a lustrous AU-55 (PCGS) example in
lot 248 of our May 2019
Baltimore Auction. Deep sea-green and amber toning adorns otherwise pearlescent
silvery surfaces. Satiny luster remains in the protected areas and the overall
complexion is considerably smooth. A few trivial blemishes are noted under a
glass, with a mark to the right of the mintmark serving as the most convenient
identifier. A lovely example of this brief type, from the first year of coinage
operations at the New Orleans Mint.


When
we last offered this coin in our sale of January 2013 it had been certified
AU-58 (PCGS), asserting the truly
choice quality is represents at the current grade of AU-55 (PCGS). It realized
$1,998 in
lot 12266 of that sale. More
recently, we offered a stunning MS-65 (NGC) example from these dies in
lot 2067 of our October 2018
Baltimore Auction where it brought a strong $14,400.

This
historic New Orleans rarity is offered in
lot 248 of our May 2019
Baltimore Auction. The auction is now available for viewing and bidding on our
website
www.stacksbowers.com, or you may contact our
offices to secure a printed catalog. To speak with a numismatic representative,
please call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected] Also, download our
mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple
device.


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