1864 10C Ten Cents, Judd-381, Pollock-449, R.7

Struck from regular issue 1864 Seated dime dies, but in copper with a reeded edge.

PR65 Red and Brown $2,530.00 (Mar 28, 2009 HA.com)
1868 10C Ten Cents, Judd-641, Pollock-713, Low R.7

The appearance similar to the issued 1868 dime, but the date is on the reverse beneath the denomination, and a large star is centered above ONE. Struck in nickel with a reeded edge.

PR65 $4,025.00 (Feb 5, 2009 HA.com)
1866 10C Ten Cents, Judd-534, Pollock-599, High R.7

Both obverse and reverse dies are the familiar design used to strike regular-issue dimes in 1866. Struck in nickel with a reeded edge.

This design was reportedly struck in two compositions, nickel and silver-nickel. Modern researchers doubt that the silver-nickel coins exist (see USPatterns.com). Robert Coulton Davis listed the issue as number 232 in his pioneering work on patterns. Davis indicated that the pattern was struck in nickel, and made no mention of the silver-nickel alloy. An early auction appearance of the pattern was in the Parmelee Collection (New York Coin and Stamp, 6/1890), lot 159. The lot description reads, "1866 Dime: same as regular issue, but in silver-nickel alloy: proof; rare." It is possible that the Parmelee description is the source of the silver-nickel composition story.

William Woodin purchased coins at the Parmelee sale, and the piece may have ended up in his collection. Adams and Woodin picked up the silver-nickel alloy story and listed the variety as number 540 in their 1913 work on patterns. The issue has been listed in pattern references ever since. Testing of known specimens needs to be done to settle this question. Experts estimate less than six examples are extant

PR64 $6,325.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1868 10C Ten Cents, Judd-649, Pollock-722, Low R.7

The regular issue design for the Seated Liberty dime. Struck in aluminum with a reeded edge.

Aluminum trial pieces were produced in 1868 and 1869 to show the ease of coinage in that metal. A few sets were also produced for sale to collectors, but most have now been broken up and the coins sold individually. It is thought that about six pieces exist today.

PR63 $3,220.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1869 10C Ten Cents, Judd-720, Pollock-801, High R.7

Judd-718 to Judd-720 patterns are actually trial pieces struck from regular dies, but on copper, aluminum, or nickel planchets. As such, the design is identical to a regular issue 1869 Seated dime: Liberty, holding a pole and cap in her left hand, sits on a rock while supporting a shield and a ribbon bearing her name. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA circles the obverse periphery, with the date below. The reverse features the denomination, ONE DIME, within an ornate wreath of corn, wheat, maple, and oak leaves. Struck in nickel with a reeded edge.

The authors of the USPatterns.com website comment on this issue: "Although these are described as regular die trial pieces in the standard references, it is more likely that the off-metal 'trials' of this year were deliberately struck for sale to collectors." Regardless of the purpose or exact origin of Judd-720, we know that few have survived. The USPatterns.com website suggests that about three or four pieces are known, while Judd's United States Pattern Coins, ninth edition, indicates a rarity of High R.7, or four to six extant examples.

PR64 $3,737.50 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1865 10C Ten Cents, Judd-421, Pollock-493, R.8

This extremely rare die trial piece is struck from regular issue Seated Liberty dime dies, but in copper with a reeded edge.

PR62 Red and Brown $4,140.00 (Dec 4, 2008 HA.com)
1870 10C Ten Cents, Judd-833, Pollock-923, High R.6

William Barber's Seated Liberty obverse is paired with a regular dies reverse. Barber's design gives the unintended impression that Liberty's arm is pierced by the Liberty pole. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.

PR64 Red and Brown $2,185.00 (May 29, 2008 HA.com)
1869 10C Ten Cents, Judd-714, Pollock-793, Low R.7

1869 10C Ten Cents, Judd-714, Pollock-793, Low R.7, PR64 PCGS. The obverse features the regular issue Liberty Seated design without the date. The reverse is inscribed SIL. 9 NIC. 1 and the date, 1869 below a solid line. Struck in nickel composition with a reeded edge. According to David Cassel, who has made an extensive study of Postage Currency and related patterns, the silver-nickel alloy as it is stated on the reverse of this pattern are incompatible metals and do not alloy. SEM-EDX testing on several Judd-714 pieces has shown them to be struck in the standard 75% copper, 25% nickel alloy in use at the time. Cassel attributes these pieces as Judd-715a.

PR64 $4,168.75 (Aug 9, 2007 HA.com)
1870 10C Dime, Judd-834, Pollock-924, High R.6

1870 10C Dime, Judd-834, Pollock-924, High R.6, PR65 Brown NGC. The William Barber obverse depicts a seated figure of Liberty facing left and supporting a shield in her right hand with an olive branch in her left. A free-standing liberty pole is present behind the shield. The reverse is from a regular issue Seated dime reverse die. Struck in copper with a plain edge.

PR65 Brown $2,530.00 (Aug 9, 2007 HA.com)
1867 10C Seated Liberty Dime, Judd-587, Pollock-652, Low R.7

The regular issue design for the 1867 Seated Liberty dime. Struck in copper with a reeded edge. Although sometimes called trial pieces, these patterns were deliberately made for sale to collectors. Saul Teichman comments: "This is one of the first years where the Mint sold off-metal pieces in complete sets to collectors. Only about eight or nine of these pieces are known.

PR64 Red and Brown $2,530.00 (Jan 2, 2007 HA.com)
1870 10C Ten Cents, Judd-831, Pollock-921, High R.6

A left-facing seated Liberty holds a shield at her right side and an olive branch in her left hand. A scroll inscribed with LIBERTY flows across the shield, and a crudely fashioned cap and pole are suspended in the background. UNITED STATES / OF AMERICA occupies the periphery with the date, 1870, in exergue. The reverse is that of the regular dime issue for the year. Struck in silver with a reeded edge. Here is another important pattern issue with only about a dozen known.

PR64 $2,990.00 (May 28, 2009 HA.com)
1869 10C Ten Cents, Judd-717, Pollock-797, Low R.7

Judd-716 to Judd-717A patterns feature a regular Seated Liberty dime obverse minus the date. The reverse reads SIL. / NIC. / COP., with a straight line separating the date, 1869, in exergue. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.

These patterns are referred to as Ruolz patterns, after a German chemist credited for inventing a special alloy containing silver, copper, and nickel. Andrew Pollock, in his United States Patterns and Related Issues, reproduces a portion of Mint Director James Pollock's Annual Report for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1869: "An alloy is proposed by a German chemist residing there, upon the authority of another chemist operating in Germany, which, if adopted, it is said would supply 'the finest, cheapest, and cleanest small coin of any nation in the world.' "

According to the same report, tests of the alloy (26% silver, 41% copper, and 33% nickel) failed miserably. It is the contention of modern researchers, specifically David Cassel, that none of the Judd-716 or Judd-717 patterns were struck using Ruolz's actual alloy, although at least one Judd-716 piece had a comparable composition.

PR64 Red and Brown $4,025.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1869 10C Seated Liberty Dime, Judd-715, Pollock-794, Low R.7

This is the regular issue design of the Seated Liberty dime obverse, except with no date. The composition is expressed on the reverse as SIL. 9 / NIC. 1 with the date below. Struck in copper with a reeded edge. This design was also produced in a nickel composition. USPatterns.com reports the research of David Cassel regarding examples that have been tested for metallic content. All pieces tested are standard coinage alloy of 25% nickel and 75% copper. None have been found that comply to the actual composition advertised.

PR64 Red and Brown $4,025.00 (Jan 2, 2007 HA.com)
1863 10C Ten Cents, Judd-333, Pollock-405, Low R.7

Regular die trials striking of the dime, but believed to be restrikes. Struck in copper with a reeded edge. The USPatterns.com website provides interesting background information and solves the mystery of these pieces: "Although described as regular dies trial pieces in the literature, this is actually a backdated fantasy piece made to complete off-metal sets of this year which included the quarter, half and dollar with the motto 'In God We Trust' used on regular coinage from 1866 to 1891. This was actually made sometime between 1869 and 1875. This piece was made from the 1869 hub having broken 'S' in States and from an 1869 reverse hub with the die scratch angling upwards from the right wreath into the center."

PR64 Brown $4,427.50 (Aug 12, 2006 HA.com)
1869 10C Ten Cents, Judd-716A, Pollock-796, High R.7

The obverse is similar to the regular issue, but without the date in exergue. The reverse has SIL. NIC. COP. in larger letters, the date is below, smaller, and slightly curved. This pattern has a reeded edge and was struck in silver, others were struck in an unworkable alloy of silver, nickel, and copper: Roulz's alloy. This silver version is quite rare, with USPatterns.com reporting "About a half dozen are known" of this issue.

PR63 $7,762.50 (Apr 26, 2006 HA.com)
1838 10C J-A1838-1, P-3049, R.8

Die trial for the Liberty Seated Dime, from an unfinished die with a single star placed between Liberty's head and her pole. White metal splasher. It has been believed that this die trial is unique, with the only known example in the Library Company of Philadelphia. This is only the second known example.

MS63 $13,800.00 (Jan 5, 2006 HA.com)
1859 P10C Ten Cents, Judd-233, Pollock-280, Low R.7

A transitional pattern produced with a regular-issue dime obverse die and a conceptual reverse die. A seated Liberty holds a pole and cap in her left hand while a shield with a ribbon inscribed with the word LIBERTY rests against her. Thirteen stars encircle the obverse periphery, with the date in exergue. ONE DIME is within an ornate wreath of corn, wheat, maple, and oak on the reverse. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.

Often referred to as the "stateless issue," in that the design lacks any reference to the country of origin. Mint Director Snowden was a proponent of Longacre's "cereal wreath" reverse motif, which was ultimately adopted for regular-issue half dimes and ten cent pieces in 1860. Obviously the new reverse die(s) were sunk before the obverse dies were modified with our nation's identity replacing the 13 stars at the periphery--and a transitional pattern was born. Actually, the term "pattern" applied to this issue is debatable. The USPatterns.com website labels these items as "fantasy pieces," while others prefer the use of "pattern" when describing the issue. In the end, Judd-233 is best described as a transitional piece.

Although equally as rare, these transitional curiosities are valued substantially higher than many other patterns of the era due to their inclusion in mainstream price guides, such as the Guide Book. It is a simple matter of supply and demand; there are more included in collectors' want lists than there are examples available for purchase.

A distinct toning area near stars 11 through 13 on the obverse confirms this piece as the plate coin in Andrew Pollock's 1994 pattern treatise.

PR67 $27,600.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
Seated Dime Patterns
Source for information and pictures courtesy of  Heritage Coin Auctions
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