Obverse Dies: 2 Known
Two obverse and reverse dies used in 1866 by the San Francisco mint to produce three die pairing varieties.
The two reverse dies can be easily distinguished by the appearance of the mintmark. There is a weak mintmark reverse (Small Weak S) and a bold mintmark reverse (Small Thin S). Most 1866 San Francisco dimes will come from the reverse with a weak mintmark as Varieties 101 and 103 are more common than 102.
Plate Coin: Fortin 101, Downward Sloping Date, Weak Mintmark, Light Mottled Rose and Gold Toning Throughout, Finest Certified By PCGS
Ron Guth: The 1866-S Dime is a low-mintage date relative to other series, but the mintage is typical of S-Mint Dimes from the early to mid-1860s, and a very high mintage compared to the 1866-P (135,000 to 8,000, respectively). Based on the mintages alone, price guides have always presented a higher value for the lower mintage 166-P. However, the advent of Population Reports, after a 25+ year record of coin grading, show that the 1866-S is actually scarcer than the 1866-P in Mint State. In addition, the highest-graded 1866-S Dimes are two points less than the highest-graded 1866-P. For the 1866-S Dime, the best examples available to collectors are a pair of MS-65s, one of which is illustrated above.
Some examples show a wavy, vertical crack that nearly bisects the obverse.
Tom Bender Collection