Obverse 1.3: Small Stars, Proof Like Die State
Reverse A.3: Doubled Die Reverse, Proof Like Die State
Obverse 1.3 Reverse A.3
Comments: Early die state 1838 Small Star dimes are always found with a die crack through Stars 1 - 6 and designated as F-101. During the later die states, the die cracks continue to extend through the rock and across all date digits. This later die state has been listed as F-101a.
During late 2006, a proof like example surfaced and was not listed until March 2023. This piece was struck by heavily striated dies with an obvious proof-like appearance under bright light. The obverse and reverse die cracks are consistent with the F-101a die state, however, the dies have been heavily polished. On the obverse, bold die lines run from north to south while the die metal adjacent to the denticles is crumbling. This die steel pitting is moving into the fields. The reverse die condition is more bizarre with heavy north-south die lines inside the wreath while there are other die lines running from 10:00 to 4:00 behind the legend. The die also has a bulge between O(NE) down to DI(M)E that remains frosted.
Is this example a special strike given the aggressive polishing of both dies? Further research is warranted with this new F-101b listing designed to stimulate interest among passionate die variety collectors.
Plate Coin: G. Fortin Collection, NGC MS64
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1838 Date Gallery