Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 41

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Lot 1036

1797 Draped Bust Dime. 16 stars. . JR-1. NGC graded EF-40. Struck on slightly clashed dies with plenty of detail to justify the lofty grade. Nicely toned in a uniform steel grey. This one denomination was the crucial test of whether the federal coinage system would be fully decimalized as Congress intended. However, actual coinage of dimes did not commence for some years. Silver coinage could not be legally made until late in 1794, because neither Assayer Albion Cox nor Chief Coiner Henry Voigt could post $10,000 surety bonds. The first coinage of dimes for general circulation did not take place until early 1796 (January to May).

The coins of 1797 are much rarer than those of 1796. Their reported mintage of 25,261 may possibly include as many as 3,864 dated 1796, according to the Breen encyclopedia. "The 6,380 of March 21, if not further 1796s, were probably 16-star coins, like the 9,099 of May 26." Breen further reports that "on Aug. 28 the Mint closed down because of a yellow fever epidemic, reopening in November. However, no more dimes were coined until July 1798, by which time the Heraldic Eagle dies were ready." Pop 1; 8 finer at NGC. (PCGS # 4462) .
Estimated Value $6,500 - 7,500.

Realized $6,325

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