Seated Liberty Dime

Posted by on February 19, 2012

Coin Weight (g) Composition Silver Melt Value Full Melt Value
Seated (1837-1853) 2.67 90% silver, 10% copper
Seated (1853-1873) 2.49 90% silver, 10% copper
Seated (1873-1891) 2.5 90% silver, 10% copper
1843 Seated Liberty Dime

1843 Seated Liberty Dime

The Seated Liberty Dime series was struck in 1837 thru 1891.  Silver prices fluctuated greatly during these years and Congress reacted by changing the weights of four denomination silver coins of the time, including the Seated Liberty Dime.  These silver dimes had three different weights with eight variations in design to distinguish these differences.

Every Seated Liberty Dime is 17.9 millimeters in diameter of the 90% silver and 10% copper alloy with a reeded edge.

Type I: “Without Stars Obverse” (1837-1838); this obverse is this minimum of the Seated Liberty Dime types.  These silver coins have the robed Liberty seated on a rock with a staff with a cap on it in one hand and the other hand resting on a shield which has “LIBERTY” engraved across it and the date underneath at the base of the dime.  These weigh 2.67 grams.

The reverse has “ONE DIME” stacked in the center surrounded by a wreath and that surrounded by “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” around the upper two thirds of the perimeter of the silver coin.  These were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1837 and the New Orleans Mint in 1838 with its “O” under the “DIME”.

Type II: “With Stars Obverse, No Drapery” (1838-1840); as Type I but thirteen stars have been added around the upper two thirds of the coins perimeter.  The Seated Liberty Dime was struck in Philadelphia in 1838 to 1849 and New Orleans in 1839 and 1840.  These weigh 2.67 grams.

Type III: “With Stars Obverse, With Drapery” (1840-1853); Robert Ball Hughes added to the robes about the arms of Liberty for these.  These weigh 2.67 grams.

Type IV: “With Stars Obverse, With Arrowheads (1853-1855); silver prices were on the rise and Congress reduced the weights of the Seated Liberty Dime from 2.67 grams to 2.49 grams.  In order to make it clear, arrowheads were added on either side of the date on the obverse.

Type V: “With Stars Obverse, With Drapery” (1856-1860); the arrowheads were removed although these still weigh 2.49 grams.  The San Francisco Mint had opened in 1854 and started striking these in 1856 with “S” as its mint mark.

 

1863 S Seated Liberty Dime

1863 S Seated Liberty Dime

Type VI: “Obverse With Legend” (1860-1873); The stars were removed from the obverse and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” replaced them.  The wreath was enlarged to fill out were the Legend had been.  The New Orleans Mint was closed in 1861, and the Carson City Mint was opened in 1870 and started striking these in 1871 with “CC” as its mint mark.  The mint marks were moved to under the wreath.

Type VII: “Obverse With Legend, With Arrowheads (1873-1874); the price of silver stabilized and final weights set at 2.50 grams, and the arrowheads were again placed on these coins to reflect this.

Type VIII: “Obverse With Legend, Without Arrowheads” (1875-1891); the arrowheads were removed and the new weight of 2.5 grams maintained.

The Philadelphia Mint struck proofs for the Seated Liberty Dime.  Starting with only a few, five or ten or so, and then up to as many as one thousand one hundred.

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