1839-O Seated Dime.

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by ldhair, Jun 27, 2022.

  1. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    I found this about 30 years ago and paid $30. It's in an early PCI green label holder as VF-20. I sent it to PCI thinking it would grade a bit higher maybe 35.
    I have a few questions.
    Reverse of 1838, huge O?
    What would you grade it?
    Will the hits on the rim give it a details grade?
    Rough idea of value?
    Image_0580.jpg Image_0582.jpg Image_0583.jpg Image_0585.JPG
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  3. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    the MM looks like a normal size.

    I have to go dig up some of mine to compare them
  4. Steven Shaw

    Steven Shaw Well-Known Member

    Looks good to me

    ldhair, Publius2 and -jeffB like this.
  5. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

  6. Steven Shaw

    Steven Shaw Well-Known Member

    Treashunt and ldhair like this.
  7. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Lovely coin, especially the toning.
  8. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

  9. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    @ldhair, yes that is the Huge 0 variety, Obverse of 1839, Reverse of 1838-O. Kam Ahwash calls it Obverse 7, Reverse 7. Fortin calls it F-108, Obverse 5, Reverse F.

    Obverse diagnostic: Weaks stars 1, 2 and 3 and weak date due to lapping of die. More "open" 9.
    Reverse diagnostic: The "O" says it all.
    I see none of the die cracks listed as developing by Ahwash and Fortin so possibly one of the early strikes from the dies.

    I like this coin and find it quite interesting. It has some problems but I don't think they are severe. My comments below reflect my thoughts on the grading question but I recognize others may well disagree. For what's it's worth...

    Sharpness grade (taking into account the die variety characteristics): Sharpness that is slightly better than VF-20. For an issue and die marriage that is from tired dies that were lapped before use, the head is unusually detailed. The weakness in the shield is probably part of why it got the 20 grade but I think the weakness is more due to die wear and weak strike than circulation wear, although there is certainly circulation wear affecting it. Strictly from sharpness of obverse, I'd call it a 30. The reverse is a leftover 1838-O die pressed into service when the 1839-O reverse die shattered. So, die was polished and used to strike up the final 670,000 coins of the 1839-O issue. Tired reverse die and it shows, particularly in the dentils. Reverse sharpness grade is around a 25.

    Problems: The obverse has several problems that would affect a final grade. There are some pits from circulation as well as several long and non-trivial gouges/scratches across Liberty and the fields. None of the rim dings are substantial but there are a lot of them. I think there is a 50-50 chance this coin would get a Details grade if sent in today and judged by current TPG standards.

    Net Grade: I think a net grade of 20 or 25 is about appropriate if this coin straight-graded. While I think it has original surfaces, there are problems that cannot be ignored even taking into account the history of the die marriage and the degree of circulation wear.

    Note that the Fortin plate coin for the variety in the link below is graded EF-40.

    Value: Won't hazard a guess since it's not in a major TPG slab and it's a variety. But here's what Fortin says on the variety:

    Liberty Seated Dimes Varieties 1837 - 1891 - 1839o_108page (seateddimevarieties.com)
  10. Mojavedave

    Mojavedave Senior Member

    The only thing see wrong with this coin is the crack through the face & right shoulder. It is a beautiful coin and a fine example of a seated dime.
  11. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Thanks everyone. Great information. @Publius2 A special thanks to you for the great reply.
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