Obverse 1: Normal Date, High With Slight Downward Slope
Reverse A: Large O, [mm C,H,TL4], Die Crack AMERIC(A)
Obverse 2 Reverse A
Obverse Diagnostic Point(s) Reverse Diagnostic Point(s)
Comments: Variety 101 lists the early die state pairing of Obverse 1 and Reverse A. Obverse 1 has no diagnostic markers other than the date position. Reverse A exhibits a Large O mintmark that is tilted left. There is a faint die crack from the lower right wreath through the bottom foot of AMERIC(A) to the rim denticles. A strong rendering of design elements on the obverse and reverse dies is obvious in this early die state.
After striking an unknown quantity of dimes, Reverse A will be polished and as a result, we see removal of much of the reverse design details. The reverse letters (OF AMERICA) become weak after the die polishing. Also after the die polishing. the reverse die degrades quickly and cracks. Please see Variety 101a for the reverse die condition after polishing and cracking.
Obverse 1 may also have been lightly polished though it is difficult to arrive at a definitive conclusion based on subsequent die state specimens. More importantly, a small and unquantified amount of 1857 New Orleans coinage can be found with obverse doubling on the date digits and Stars 12 and 13. The doubling is not the result of date repunching or working die doubling but rather strike doubling. Please see Variety 101b for a detail review of the strike doubling observation.
Dr. Tim Cook is credited with locating the above plate coin during 2012 to prove that Reverse A was polished before striking Varieties 101a and 101b coinage.
Plate Coin: Courtesy of Dr. Tim Cook Collection, ANACS AU58
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