Variety 105a

 Obverse 2.2: Business Strikes, Early Die State, Pie Shaped Shattered Obverse

Reverse E: Perfect Die, Normal Reverse Alignment


Obverse 2.2                                              Reverse E


Obverse Diagnostic Point(s)



Comments: An early die state example of the Pie Shaped Shattered obverse die surfaced on eBay during March 2004. In this early die state, Obverse 2 shows no die cracks. The date punch is positioned further left than the other 1839 obverse dies and proved to be the diagnostic for locating this example. Star 8 is boldly repunched, Star 10 to a lesser extent. There are radial lathe die lines in Liberty's gown directly to the right of the shield and inside the letters LIBERTY on the scroll. Ahwash stated that the 1, 3 and 9 digits in the date were repunched. Close examination of the plate coin shows minor repunching on the 1 digit and significant repunching on the 3 digit.

Upon locating this early die state specimen, the question remains, "Why are examples of Variety 105a, 105b and 105c so difficult to locate?" To my knowledge, this is the first example of the early die state to surface in a die variety specialist's collection. Maybe ten examples of Variety 105b and six Variety 105c are known today. Did the Obverse 2 die crack immediately upon being used, resulting in a small mintage of dimes from this die pair? Did the mint employ these dies for a large production run while the obverse die shattered, then rejecting the dimes and returning them to the melting pot?

In all die states, Obverse 2 always comes well struck with no erosion of the design elements or the denticles. This observation supports a theory that the Obverse 2 die cracked quickly after a limited amount of coinage. The coinage was probably not rejected, rather entering circulation and leaving few specimens extant in any die state.

Plate Coin: G. Fortin Collection, PCGS EF45 CAC Gold

1839 Varieties 101, 102, 103, 104, 104a, 104b, 105, 105a, 105b, 105c, 106, 106a, 106b, 106c, 107, 108, 109

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