Obverse Dies: 2 Known
A historically scarce date but rare during the past 15 years is a result of excessive hoarding. The recent dispersion of the CA hoard has increased availability in grades up through EF45. 1844 dimes are scarce in grades of AU or better with few Mint State examples known. This date, nicknamed the "Little Orphan Annie" dime, has been a favorite target of hoarders throughout its existence.
A single die pair was employed for business strikes while a second die pair was used for proof coinage. On the business strike obverse, die lines are seen on both the lower left and right sides of the reverse. The most significant are located between the rim and UNITED on the left side of the reverse die with additional die lines between rim and the letters ERIC in AMERICA.
Plate Coin: Fortin 102, Even light gray toning over original and problem free surfaces; residual luster is evident throughout. Though graded AU58, this dime is in the condition census for the date.
The 1844 Dime is one of the most popular dates of the Seated Liberty series, not because it is particularly rare, but because of it's nickname. It was first called the "Little Orphan Annie Dime" in the 1930s by Frank Ross, a collector who hoarded this date and promoted it as a great rarity. In fact, it can be found with relative ease (for a price, of course), especially since a hoard of 612 of 1844 Dimes was sold by Heritage in July 2003, allowing many collectors the opportunity to finally obtain an example.
In top condition, the 1844 Dime is very elusive. A small number of MS63 and MS65 examples are known and the best example is a single PCGS MS66 illustrated above (and formerly from the collection of Bob R. Simpson).
Gerry Fortin has identifed two different die varieties for this year: one for the Proof coinage and another for the regular issue coinage. Interestingly enough, the reverse die used on the regular issue coins was later used again in 1845.
Bob R. Simpson Collection - Legend Rare Coin Auctions 12/2015:133 (as PCGS MS66 06666889), $47,000
Heritage 7/2008:1609, $51,750