1861 10C MS64 Certification #05719925, PCGS #4633
Obverse Dies Type I: 6 Known
Obverse Dies Type II: 11 Known
In 1861, Longacre changed the obverse hub to improve striking quality. During that year, obverse dies were produced from both the Type I and Type II obverse hubs. The old hub (Type I) of 1861 has 5 vertical lines in the upper part of the shield above the banner. Liberty's index finger also fell on the outside of the left shield edge. On the new hub (Type II) of 1861, there are 6 vertical lines above the banner. Liberty's
index finger points straight down along the left edge of the shield. The letters on the Type I hub are thinner than the letters on the Type II hub.
Die variety research has revealed that the mint used eleven Type II obverse dies vs. six Type I obverse dies or about a 2:1 ratio. This observation supports the fact that Type II 1861 dimes are easier to locate than their Type I counterparts.
Plate Coin: Fortin 101, Type I Obverse, Rusted Obverse and Clashed Dies, Lustrous Example
In 1861, the mintage of the Dime reached the highest level (1,883,000) since 1857. Because of this large mintage, the 1861 Dime is plentiful in virtually all grades, including high-end Mint State. Among Mint State grades, collectors are most likely to encounter an MS64, though even MS63 and MS65 examples appear almost as frequently. The PCGS CoinFacts Condition Census begins at MS65 and tops out at MS67.
The luster on this date is usually frosty, though lustrous examples are also seen. The strike is generally good, but fully-struck examples, with full detail in the wreath on the upper left reverse, are definitely scarce.