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Elusive 1829 Curl Base 2 Capped Bust Dime to be Featured in our March Baltimore 2016 Rarities Night Auction

The Capped Bust dime made its debut in 1809, replacing the Draped Bust design type used on the denomination since 1796. Designed by John Reich, the motif depicts a capped bust of Liberty facing left, a design that would be used on most U.S. silver coinage over the following three decades.

The initial rendition of Reich’s design employed an open collar, which promoted a broad border and girthy dentils. However, this open collar design also allowed for inconsistencies in the striking processes, sometimes resulting in shifted and stretched elements. A solution came mid-production in 1828 when the closed collar was introduced. This fixed collar encircled the planchet during striking and ensured a uniform diameter. Smaller, more beaded dentils were integrated into the design, making this Variety 2 type readily identifiable.  

Of the dozen known varieties of the 1829 Capped Bust dime issue, the JR-10 Curl Base 2 die pairing is the scarcest. First discovered in a Dayton, Ohio dealer’s inventory by John McCloskey in 1973, nearly all known examples exhibit Very Good or lesser levels of preservation, with just a handful of confirmed examples known at the Very Fine level.  The current VG-10 specimen is surpassed by just four coins certified by PCGS, emphasizing its true significance to variety and early type specialists.

This wholesome Curl Base 2 rarity offers iridescent champagne-gray, flanked by deep navy and bronze at the borders.  The strike is uniformly well pronounced throughout, with bold central motifs and particularly sharp peripheral elements. The eye appeal is considerably superior to similarly graded examples, with smooth surfaces and a pleasing circulation cameo.

This important rarity will be offered alongside other treasures in our March 2016 Rarities Night session, held in conjunction with our Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo in Baltimore. To consign to this sale, or any other of our auctions, please contact our offices today at 1-800-458-4646 to speak with a Consignment Director and see what Stack’s Bowers can do for you.

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