1805 10C 4 Berries MS63 JR-2, R.2. The die crack through ERTY and star 8 and the eponymous reverse identify this instantly as an example of the JR-2 4 Berries, and this is a lovely example for the grade. While JR-2 is the more plentiful of the two known die marriages of the 1805 Draped Bust Dime, examples that have survived the passage of time with fully Mint State surfaces must be considered rare. The dimes of 1805 are known only by two die marriages that share a common obverse, with a small spine protruding from the top of the 5 in the date. The reverses show four or five olives on the olive branch clutched by the Heraldic Eagle, or berries as they are usually called, with the present 4 Berries reverse having narrow A's and leaves that are clear of the peripheral lettering. This coin shows appealing medium-gray and golden highlights on each side, with few relevant abrasions. The 1805 4 Berries will never be an uncommon die pairing, but both the 4 Berries and 5 Berries JR-1 are popular Guide Book varieties eagerly sought by collectors, and both are fairly available for a price into the lower Mint State grades. However, Select Uncirculated pieces are scarce and are sought after by both type collectors and Early Dime specialists. The 1805 JR-2 dime is the second most common Draped Bust variety behind the 1807, and both coins are ideal for collectors who want a single example of the draped bust, heraldic eagle design in type set collections. Obverse Die: The 1 nearly touches the lowest curl and the top of the 5 has a spine extending into the bust. LIB are close and BERTY are wide. Star 1 is far from the curl, star 7 is farther from L, star 8 is very close to the Y, and star 13 is close to the bust.
State a. Perfect with no crack through ERTY. State b. Cracked from the rim through ERTY. Minor clash marks. State c. Cracked from the rim below star 13 into the bottom of the bust. The die is lapped, removing most of the clash marks. State d. Cracked from the rim between stars 9 and 10 into the bust, about one-third of the distance down from the base of the neck to the bottom of the bust.
Reverse Die: Four berries in the branch. All letters in the legend are separated from each other and from the devices. AMER are extremely close together, with AM slightly higher than ER. The star pattern is unusual with two rows of six stars each, and a single star touching the back of the eagle's neck. Stars 1, 2, and 5, touch the clouds above.
State a. Perfect. State b Minor die rust near D of UNITED.
The 1805 Dime has a mintage of 120,780 pieces, the second highest of the Draped Bust series, but only two varieties comprise the entire mintage. JR-1 has 5 Berries on the reverse and JR-2 has 4 Berries on the reverse. Both are of roughly equal rarity, though the 4 Berries reverse is slightly more common.
The finest 1805 4 Berries reverse Dime is the amazing PCGS MS67 from the Knoxville Collection.
Knoxville Collection - Jay Parrino (The Mint) - American Numismatic Rarities 7/2004:34, $149,500 - Simpson Collection - Oliver Jung Collection - Heritage 8/2014:5560, $188,000
Barney Bluestone 12/1945:349, $27 - John Jay Pittman, Jr. - Akers 10/1997:542, $82,500 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1048, $105,750
John J. Ford, Jr., sold privately in 8/1951 - Andrew Syldlak Collection, sold privately in the 1970s - Richard Burdick Collection - Stack’s 10/1986:50, $18,700 - Jay Parrino (The Mint) - Foxfire Collection (Claude E. Davis, MD), sold privately (as an entire collection) on 10/5/2004 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1049, $82,250