Methods For Obverse Die Attribution
Two primary methods are utilized for obverse die identification. They are Shield Position (SP) published by Kam Ahwash in the Encyclopedia of United States - Liberty Seated Dimes and secondly, the Denticle Ruler (DR) published by the author in The Gobrecht Journal Collective Vo,ume Number 4. Each identification method has successfully been utilized by Seated Dime variety collectors to differentiate obverse dies. Readers are highly encouraged to become familiar with both obverse die measurement techniques.
Shield Position (SP)
The determination of obverse Shield Position is accomplished through usage of the vertical shield lines in Liberty's shield. Liberty's shield presents five pairs of vertical lines. Each line is numbered 1 to 10 singly. The first vertical line found in the extreme left part of the shield is numbered 1, while the next vertical line to the right of the #1 line is numbered as 2. Again moving right across the shield, the next pair of vertical lines is numbered 3 and 4. This numbering process is continued until the last vertical shield line pair on the lower outer right of the shield is reached and numbered 9 and 10.
To determine the shield position, an imaginary line is sighted from the outside tip of the flag of the "1" in the date upward until it corresponds to one of the vertical lines in the shield. In the case that the imaginary sighted line falls between two numbered shield lines, the middle point between those two numbered vertical shield lines is designated. For example a sighted line that lies between shield lines 6 and 7 would result in a shield position designation of 6.5.
In the following pictures, the Shield Position (SP) numbering of vertical shield lines is demonstrated followed by an 1852 dime with a Shield Position (SP) of 6.0.
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