[The following excerpt is published courtesy of DLRC Press and its author, Brian Greer. This information was originally published in 1992 in The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Dimes]
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MINTAGE: 1,323,000 (all kinds)
VARIETIES: Small O: At least two die combinations. Rarely seen paired with the same obverse as the 1839-0 Huge O. Identified by the weak 18 in date, weak first three stars at left and die crack from rim to star 4. Digits 1, 8, 3 in date are placed over denticles.
Large O: No. 101 - Shattered Reverse. In later die states this variety becomes a spectacular “cobweb” of die cracks throughout the reverse wreath. This variety is common overall, but becomes rare in later die states, especially in higher grades. Late die states are highly sought by specialists and command premiums of up to 100% The 8th star shows very bold repunching on the obverse.
No. 102 – Repunched Mintmark. The earlier mintmark shows boldly below the final punch. With or without a bisecting reverse die crack from 9:00 to 4:00. Fairly scarce. On the obverse there is a crack from Liberty’s head from stars 8 through 12. Stars 1 and 8 are repunched.
No. 103 – Star 1 is very close to the rock with the point of the star pointing well below the crease in the rock. Star 8 is centered between Liberty’s head and the cap. Stars 1,2,4, 12, and 13 show repunching. Often found with various amounts of rim cudding at the right obverse rim from 2:00 to 6:00. The reverse has a nicely centered large mintmark. Late states begin to show die cracks the strongest being from the rim to U in UNITED. Common. Ahwash 4.
No. 104 – Star I is close to the rock but not as close as on
No. 103. The point of the star points just below the crease in the rock. Star 8 is closer to the cap than Liberty’s head. There is a die crack from the rim through the base of the rock to the I in LIBERTY and another from Liberty’s head through all the stars on the right. Same reverse as on No. 103 with additional die cracks showing and the crack from the U in UNITED now bold. The rims and denticles are weak as are the letters in the Legend. A rare variety. Ahwash 5. This obverse was also paired with a Small O reverse.
SCARCITY: A fairly common date in low grades but scarce in XF. The Small O is slightly scarcer than the Large O in low grades and is rare in XF and above.
Rarity Rating Small O: G-VG R2. F-VF R3+, XF-AU R5, MS R6+.
Rarity Rating Large O: G-VG R2-, F-VF R3, XF-AU R4, MS R5+.
Rarity Rating combined: G-VG Rl, F-VF R2+, XF-AU R4, MS R5. Overall: Rl.
Total PCGS/NGC/ANACS : 24 (Ranking tied for 51/1 16) all varieties.
COMMENTS: Small O: Almost always weak within the horizontal lines of the obverse shield. This is true of all New Orleans mint No Drapery dimes. Weakness at the head and reverse leaves is also common
Large O: Usually with weakness at Liberty’s head, the shield, and the central portions of the leaves. The shattered reverse variety is often weak at the reverse rims especially in later die states.