Owner's Comments

Mintage: 15,100
Obverse Dies: 5 Known

Despite its low mintage, 1879 Philadelphia dimes are readily available in Mint State and scarce in circulated grades. Surprisingly, five obverse dies were used to strike a very limited amount of coinage. One of the five obverse dies was discovered in 2005.

Plate Coin: Fortin 105, Die Pair Variety Identified In 2005, A Mauve-Golden Specimen that Offers Satin Reflection and Bold Definition of Design Elements, Ex. Lemus Collection

Expert Comments

Ron Guth

In 1879, the production of Dimes took place only at the Philadelphia Mint, and the mintage was so small that one wonders why they even bothered.  It was barely cost-effective to produce the dies and blanks, set up the press, and strike off 14,000 coins.  However, for collectors, the creation of this rarity was a boon.  Perhaps collectors were aware of the small mintage, as they put aside large quantities of Mint State examples.  PCGS alone has certified over 200 Uncirculated 1879 Dimes.  The high survival rate makes this an affordable rarity and, certainly, a good value.

Gerry Fortin has identified five different die pairs that were used to strike 1879 Dimes.  This is an unusually large number for a date with such a low mintage, but it should be noted that four of the die pairs started out as Proofs, and three of those die pairs were used to strike Mint State examples at a later date.

James Barton Longacre
17.90 millimeters
2.50 grams
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Pop Higher
Pop Lower
The United States of America
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

65 or Better 2500 R-4.5 52 / 67 TIE 105 / 122 TIE
All Grades 400 R-6.2 52 / 67 106 / 122
60 or Better 130 R-7.7 57 / 67 TIE 106 / 122 TIE
65 or Better 2500
All Grades 400
60 or Better 130
65 or Better R-4.5
All Grades R-6.2
60 or Better R-7.7
65 or Better 52 / 67 TIE
All Grades 52 / 67
60 or Better 57 / 67 TIE
65 or Better 105 / 122 TIE
All Grades 106 / 122
60 or Better 106 / 122 TIE

Condition Census Learn More

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS68 PCGS grade MS68 PCGS grade
2 MS68 PCGS grade
3 MS67+ PCGS grade MS67+ PCGS grade
4 MS67 PCGS grade MS67 PCGS grade
4 MS67 PCGS grade MS67 PCGS grade
MS68 PCGS grade #1 MS68 PCGS grade
#2 MS68 PCGS grade
MS67+ PCGS grade #3 MS67+ PCGS grade
MS67 PCGS grade #4 MS67 PCGS grade
MS67 PCGS grade #4 MS67 PCGS grade