1798 10C Large 8 AU55 JR-4, R.3. The large 8 in the date is diagnostic for the obverse and for the die pairing by extension. The lone Large 8 variety, represented here by an apparently very early die state, with the obverse die crack from the rim through the Y to Liberty's nose extending lightly into the field from her chin, but with the reverse lacking the breakdown from the second feather to the left rim. The flat topped 1 in the date and five berries on the reverse olive branch also identify this Choice AU coin as a representative of the relatively available “Normal Date” JR-4 variety. Minor rim crumbling is evident over S OF; the stars at the left side of the obverse are weak. Ostensibly the most available 1798-dated dime die pair for the year, though it is scarce in an absolute sense like its brethren, examples are available in most any desired grade for the type collector who desires an 18th century example of the Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle design combination. The JR-4 is the most frequently encountered of the four 1798 varieties, but it is still a scarce coin as only 27,550 dimes were produced with this date. Some have even theorized that because of the larger number of JR-4 dimes available from this year and the scarcity of 1800 dimes, this variety might actually have been produced in 1800. There may not yet be convincing evidence for this, but it is an intriguing theory.
Obverse Die: The date is widely spaced with the 1 well below the curl, and the 8 about centered between the drapery and border. The 1 is complete with a full base. LIBERTY is widely spaced with LIB slightly closer than other letters. Stars 1 and 7 are distant from the hair and L, while stars 8 and 13 are close to Y and the drapery. Star pairs 1-2, 3-4, 8-9, and 9-10 are closer than other star pairs. State a. Perfect die, may not exist. State b. Cracked from the Y to the nose. State c. An additional crack from the eye joins the State b crack. State d. A crack develops from the chin down toward star 13. State e. A crack connects the Y to stars 8 through 11. State f. The state b crack continues to the right obverse border.
Reverse Die: The branch has five berries, diagnostic for 1798. The reverse has 13 stars with six in the top row. Star 12 joins the scroll over the left top of the U, and nearly touches the lower beak. All letters in the legend are separated, with ME extremely close. The outside arrow ends under the right curve of the U in UNITED. A leaf is solidly joined to the right base of I. State a. Perfect die, may not exist. State b. The reverse is cracked from the second feather of the left wing to the border. State c. Various stages of rim crumbling develop as the die is used.
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