Magnificent Gem 1838-O No Stars Dime to be featured in Rarities Night of our November 2016 Baltimore Auction

No Stars Liberty Seated dimes of 1837 and 1838 are often considered Gobrecht’s
little masterpieces. Uncluttered by stars on either side, Liberty sits
majestically at center, placed upon a perfectly sized canvas that allows appreciation
of the obverse motif, without being distracted by the nuances of Liberty’s
drapery folds or the intricacies of her hair that sometimes draw the eye on
larger coins, like Gobrecht’s silver dollars of 1836-1839. While these features
can be seen under a glass, to the naked eye they are sublimated into the
overall aesthetic, allowing the focus to remain on the themes of freedom and
liberty as Kneass, Sully and Gobrecht had intended.

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
coins were struck utilizing a single obverse die and two reverse dies,
resulting in two distinct die pairings for the year. The present piece is an
exemplary representative of the later state of the first pairing, Fortin-101a,
displaying pronounced obverse cuds at 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock.
Popular as a type coin and also as the first issue struck at the New Orleans
Mint, most pieces are heavily worn and Uncirculated examples are elusive in all
conditions. Even in Mint State preservation, survivors are largely confined to
Choice and lesser grades, and true Gems are rare. The example we will showcase
in our November auction shares the MS-65 grade with just four others at PCGS, and
is surpassed by just a single piece graded MS-65+. For Liberty Seated dime
specialists and type collectors, this piece represents a truly significant

bronze hues accent the brilliant pearlescent surfaces. Liberty is sharp across
all elements despite the aged die, as is evidenced by the aforementioned rim
cuds and virtually nonexistent denticles. The reverse exhibits a similar
fatigue to the peripheral devices, with the letters of UNITED crumbling and stitched
together by cracks. Even so, the denomination at center is bold and the
repunching of the mintmark is clear, a diagnostic of the Fortin-101 die
pairing. The fields are nearly pristine and support soft and satiny luster. This
gorgeous piece undoubtedly ranks among the finest survivors of this issue and
certainly of the variety.  At one time
under the custodianship of Eugene H. Gardner, this Gem is bound to once again become
a highlight in a similarly acclaimed assemblage. 

lovely 1838-O No Stars dime will be featured among numerous world-class
rarities in our November 2016 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin &
Collectibles Expo. To obtain your copy of the catalog or to consign your
rarities to a future showcase event, please contact our offices today at
1-800-458-4646 to speak with a Consignment Director and see what Stack’s Bowers
Galleries can do for you.

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