Obverse Dies: 4 Known
The 1853 New Orleans date is rarely found with full head detail and a strong strike. Of the four known obverse dies, dimes from Obverse 2 typically show full heads and strong dates even though this die does shatter with usage. Dimes from Obverse 1 are almost always seen with little or no head detail and haloing around the left stars. Obverses 3 and 4 exhibit weak dates.
The date and arrows placement on 1853 New Orleans dimes is consistent across all obverse dies as seen with the hubbed subset of 1853 With Arrows Philadelphia dies. At this point in time, it can be concluded that the date and arrows were placed into the hub die for New Orleans obverse dies. Interestingly, both reverse dies from 1852 are again used by the New Orleans mint to strike 1853 coinage.
Plate Coin: Fortin 103, Eliasberg Pedigree in OGH. Both Obverse and Reverse are Fully Struck for F-103 Variety Which is Extremely Difficult to Locate. Original Rose/Gold Toning Over Lustrous Surfaces. Many Years of Searching for a Fully Struck Mint State 1853-O Dime has Come to an End.
In 1853, both the Philadelphia and New Orleans Mints were busy cranking out millions of the new With Arrows Dimes to replace the old, heavier weight Dimes that were in circulation at the time. As a result, the mintage of the 1853-O Dime is nearly triple that of the previous year. Despite the increased mintage, the 1853-O Dime is a true rarity in Mint State and it is, in fact, the rarest of the six With Arrows Dimes. Less than a dozen Mint State 1853-O Dimes exist and few are nice. The best example is the PCGS MS66 from the Eugene Gardner Collection (illustrated above). This colorful example is two points ahead of its nearest competitor.
Researcher Gerry Fortin has identified eight different die varieties for this year. All of the varieties are of roughly the same rarity.
Jason Carter, sold privately in 11/2004 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 10/2014:98254, $10,575 - Tom Bender Collection