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Liberty Seated Dimes 1837 – 1891

Learn About 52 Varieties of 1837-1891 Liberty Seated Dimes

Although Capped Bust Dimes were minted first in 1837, there was an impetus to change the design again. As with the Half Dime coinage, the task fell to Christian Gobrecht who was the Second Engraver of the United States Mint. He had worked for the US Mint as early as 1823, but it was a temporary position. Gobrecht finally became the Chief Engraver in 1840 and held the position until his death in 1844.

The design for the new dime was a duplicate of his new Half Dime and was similar to his pattern silver dollars of 1835 and 1836 (the Gobrecht Dollars) and was simple in its presentation. The obverse of the coin had Liberty, seated, facing left, holding a shield in one hand and a pole with a cap on the end of it in the other.  The only distraction to that symbolism was the date below Miss Liberty. The reverse had the denomination “ONE DIME” in two lines, enclosed inside a wreath with “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” around it.

(This is the VARIETY ONE – No Stars on Obverse – minted in 1837 and 1838.)

The 1837 coin was minted in Philadelphia and 682,500 were struck. There were two varieties – a Small Date and a Large Date, neither of them is particularly more valuable than the other. The only other coin issued as a Variety One was an 1838-O struck in New Orleans, with 489,034 coins actually minted. It is a bit scarcer than either of the 1837 varieties.

(This is VARIETY TWO – in 1838 13 stars were added to the obverse on all Philadelphia coins.)

In 1838 the Philadelphia Mint added 13 stars above and around Miss Liberty and this was continued through 1859. The New Orleans “O” mintmark appears above the bow on the reverse. In 1840, a fold of drapery was added from the right elbow on Miss Liberty. Coins were struck in Philadelphia and New Orleans and the design was unchanged until 1853.

1838 dated coins come in Large and Small stars varieties and a partial drapery variety. There were 1,992,500 1838-dated coins minted in Philadelphia. 1839 saw over 1 million coins struck both at Philadelphia and New Orleans and they are valued similarly.  Philadelphia struck under 1 million coins in 1840 and New Orleans struck under 1.1 million coins with an “O” mintmark that same year. The same pattern was repeated in 1841 with Philadelphia over 1.6 million coins and New Orleans just over 2 million. In 1842 the main mint struck 1.9 million and the branch mint just over 2 million coins.  

New Orleans struck only 150,000 coins in 1843, while Philadelphia struck nearly 1.4 million. In 1844 mintages dropped at both mints with Philadelphia striking 72,500 coins and New Orleans not striking any coins. In 1845, the Philadelphia Mint struck 1.7 million coins and the New Orleans branch struck only 230,000 “O” dimes. Between 1846 and 1848, coins were only struck in Philadelphia. 1846 was a very difficult year with only 31,300 minted making any dime dated 1846 very scarce in any grade. 1849 saw 839,000 coins struck and in New Orleans exactly 300,000 were struck that same year. In both 1850 and 1851 coins were struck at both mints and the mintages ranged from just under two million to a low of 400,000.  

In 1852 over 1.5 million coins were struck in Philadelphia but only 430,000 in New Orleans. The 1853 Philadelphia coin has the lowest mintage with only 95,000 coins struck.  Again, a new variety was about to be struck.

(This is VARIETY THREE – arrows added at the date on the obverse to signal a reduction in the silver weight.)

Later in the year 1853, arrows were placed on each side of the date to denote a reduction in the Silver weight of the coins. This continued from 1853 through 1855 and applied to coins minted both in Philadelphia and New Orleans, though no New Orleans coins were struck in 1855. 1853 from Philadelphia had the highest mintage at nearly 12.2 million coins while the 1853-O had the lowest mintage with 1.1 million coins struck.

From 1856 to 1860, at the Philadelphia, New Orleans and at the San Francisco mint in 1859 and 1860, the Variety Two coin was resumed, meaning the coins no longer displayed arrows at the date, but the reduced weight of Variety Three remained as the standard weight. Mintages varied from a high of 5.8 million to a low of only 60,000.

(This is VARIETY FOUR – with “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” surrounding Miss Liberty, removed from the reverse.)

Variety Four coins were now redesigned by James B. Longacre and this style began in 1860 and ran until 1873. As one would expect with the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, New Orleans coins bearing the “O” mintmark were struck in 1860 and that was the final year, with only 40,000 coins struck at our branch mint. Between 1861 and 1865, New Orleans was located deep in the heart of the Confederate States of America and New Orleans ceased to be a valuable branch mint for the United States. To pick up the slack and assist Philadelphia in coin production, coins were struck in San Francisco beginning in 1861 and running through 1872. 1871 to 1873 also had coins struck at the branch mint in Carson City, Nevada.  

(This is VARIETY FIVE – with Arrows added at the date to indicate an increase in the weight.)

Variety Five coinage was continued for only two years – 1873 and 1874 at Philadelphia, San Francisco and Carson City.  The 1873 and 1874 Carson City coins are rarities with 18,791 and 10,817 coins respectively for those two years.

Beginning in 1875 and running until the series ended in 1891, the Variety Four coins were once again resumed. There are even rarities in this last run of the series. 1879, 1880 and 1881 Philadelphia coins are all extremely low mintage rarities with 14,000, 36,000 and 24,000 coins respectively in those years. A later date – 1885-S – is also a rarity with 43,690 coins struck.

DateTypeMintageFine ValueUnc Value
1837Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 11,992,500$150$1,250
1838-OLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 1489,034$250$4,000
1838 – 1843Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 22,020,000 to 377,500$100$1,000
1843-OLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 2150,000$700$72,500
1844Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 272,500$400$10,000
1845Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 21,755,000$40$500
1845-OLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 2230,000$300$20,000
1846Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 231,300$750$40,000
1847 – 1852-OLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 21,931,500 to 245,000$100$3,000
1853 No ArrLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 295,000$400$1,250
1853 – 1855 ArrowsLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 312,173,000 to 1,100,000$85$2,000
1856 & 56-OLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 25,780,000 to 1,180,000$100$1,500
1856-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 270,000$750$12,500
1857 – 1860-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 25,580,000 to 60,000$200$2,500
1860Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 4606,000$25$250
1860-OLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 440,000$1,600$25,000
1861, 1862, 1868, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873Liberty Seated Dimes – Ty41,847,000 to 470,500$75$400
1861-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4172,500$450$7,000
1862-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4180,750$350$5,000
1863Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 414,000$1,000$2,000
1864Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 411,000$750$2,500
1865Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 410,000$900$2,300
1865-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4175,000$400$17,500
1866Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 48,000$1,250$2,500
1866-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4135,000$300$5,000
1867Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 46,000$1,000$2,500
1867-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4140,000$300$5,000
1868-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4260,000$200$1,250
DateTypeMintageFine ValueUnc Value
1869Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 4256,000$50$1,000
1869-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4450,000$30$600
1870-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 450,000$600$3,000
1871-CCLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 420,100$6,000$100,000
1871-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4320,000$150$4,000
1872 DD RevLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4Unknown$400$3,000
1872-CCLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 435,480$3,500$200,000
1873-CCLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 41 – Unique$500,000$3,000,000
1873Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 52,337,700$35$750
1873 DD ObvLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 5Unknown$1,250$22,500
1873-CCLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 518,791$6,000$65,000
1873-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 5455,000$50$1,500
1874Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 52,940,000$40$750
1874-CCLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 510,817$15,000$200,000
1874-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 5240,000$75$2,000
1878 to 1878Liberty Seated Dimes        – Ty 411,460,000 to 1,677,200$75$750
1878-CCLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4200,000$300$2,500
1879Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 414,000$350$700
1880Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 436,000$275$725
1881Liberty Seated Dime – Ty 424,000$275$800
1882 to 1885Liberty Seated Dimes         – Ty 47,674,673 to 564,969$30$300
1885-SLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 443,690$900$9,000
1886 to   1891-SLiberty Seated Dimes         – Ty 415,310,000 to 206,524$50$400
1891-O /Horizontal OLiberty Seated Dime – Ty 4Unknown$150$4,500

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