Owner's Comments

Mintage: 1,992,500
Obverse Dies: 8 Known

Working dies of 1838 through 1840 were created from the No Stars hub of 1837. Each working die had 13 individual stars hand punched resulting in variations in star placement and size. One obverse in 1838 features smaller stars from a punch intended for half dimes and is known as the Small Stars Obverse. The Stars Obverse type was struck at the Philadelphia during 1838 through 1840 and at the New Orleans mint during 1839 and 1840. For the 1838 Philadelphia date, eight different obverse dies have been identified. Many of the obverse dies are found today with important late die states where the die shows large die cracks that tranverse the obverse.

Plate Coin: Condition Census Gem

Expert Comments

Ron Guth

In 1838, 13 stars were added to the obverse of the Dime.  Each star was hand-punched into the die, thus the spacing and the placement of the stars is not uniform on individual varieties.  Intentional or not, one variety was created using star punches normally used on Half Dimes.  Appropriately named the "Small Stars" variety, this one can be "eyeballed" because the stars are smaller and more widely spaced than on the "Large Stars" varieties.  Also, the "Small Stars" variety is often found with a die crack connecting the stars on the left.  The "Small Stars" variety is roughly seven times rarer than the "Large Stars" variety.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

17.90 millimeters
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
2.67 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
The United States of America
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Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

65 or Better 500 R-6.0 3 / 7 57 / 122 TIE
All Grades 60 R-8.4 3 / 7 54 / 122 TIE
60 or Better 12 R-9.5 4 / 7 53 / 122 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 estimated grade

Gulf Coast Collection - Heritage 10/2001:5932, $12,075 - Bob R. Simpson Collection - Heritage 9/2010:3617, $29,900 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part II - Heritage 10/2014:98239, $25,850

2 MS66+ PCGS grade MS66+ PCGS grade

Jason Carter, sold privately in 11/2004 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part IV - Heritage 10/2015:98229, $10,575 - Heritage 6/2016:4383, $9,988 - Stack's/Bowers 8/2017:2060, $10,575 - The Type Set Collection (Oliver Jung) (PCGS Set Registry)

3 MS65 PCGS grade MS65 PCGS grade

Heritage 8/2004:5663, $5,060 - Gerry Fortin Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

3 MS65 PCGS grade MS65 PCGS grade
3 MS65 PCGS grade

Stack's/Bowers 3/2014:5223, $3,965.63