Methods For Obverse Die Attribution
Further refinements in date position attribution can occur through the use of Distance from Date to Base (DDB) measurements in conjunction with the subjective inspection of the date's slope. Combined usage of Denticle Ruler, Distance from Date to Base measurements and observations on the date's slope form the basis for most obverse die attributions within this book. Collectors should become familiar with these methods to fully develop skills for rapid identification of obverse dies that do not have obvious repunched or misplaced dates.
Distance From Date To Base
Kam Ahwash originally defined the DDB method in his Encyclopedia of United States - Liberty Seated Dimes. This method required the physical measurement of the distance from the top of the 1 in the date to the bottom point of the base that supports the figure of Liberty. This distance can vary from the date directly touching the base to observations approaching 0.5 mm for small logotype date punches positioned near the lower denticles. The DDB measurements within this book will be limited to four categories,
Very High Date (1 in Date touches base)
High Date (1 in Date is within 0.2 mm from base)
Medium Date (1 in Date is between 0.2 to 0.4 mm from base)
Low Date (1 in Date is 0.4 mm or more from base)
Examples of the DDB measurement method
Most seated dime date punches sit in a horizontal or level plane. The top of the date punches illustrated above are all considered to be in parallel with the bottom of the base. A date punched that is in parallel with the bottom on the base will be defined as being Level. However numerous obverse dies have been observed with date punches that slope upward or downward with respect to the horizontal plane of the base. Date slopes are an additional aid to attribute dies that have similar Denticle Ruler and Distance From Date to Base characteristics. Date slopes will be defined as Upward Slope, Slight Upward Slope, Level, Slight Downward Slope and Downward Slope. Examples of sloping date punches are illustrated for reference.
Examples of the Date Slope attributes
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