Numismatic Guaranty Corp. recently announced that it will attribute
Seated Liberty dime varieties listed in Gerry Fortin’s online
resource, Top 100 Liberty Seated Dime Varieties.
Fortin’s site, on the Internet at www.seateddimevarieties.com, is
a fantastic, easy-to-use online resource that’s free and sets up a low
barrier of entry for those who seek to explore an interesting series
Even better: Many of the varieties can still be found —
unattributed — in dealer inventories and on eBay.
Fortin explains that when selecting the top 100 varieties for the
series, he hoped to expand the size of the Seated Liberty collecting
community by raising awareness of an alternate collecting approach for
the series beyond date and Mint mark.
The 100 varieties were defined in 2003 and published in the
Liberty Seated Collector’s Club’s Gobrecht
Journal. The club
established an open registry for collectors to share their collections
and to gain exposure for the series.
Fortin aimed to select varieties that would help collectors build
an understanding of the die preparation process, die wear and minting
conditions in the mid-19th century. He believes that “collectors will
become more dedicated to a long-term relationship with a particular
series if time is taken to acquire in-depth knowledge about that series.”
Varieties were selected with an eye toward including many die
errors that can happen, such as repunched dates and Mint marks,
misplaced date punches, excessive die wear and shattering of dies, as
well as die doubling during the die hubbing process.
Fortin acknowledged that assembling the set of the top 100 dimes
must be an attainable goal and at the same time, “It must be a
challenging long-term project that brings about enthusiasm and sense
of accomplishment when the set is fully assembled.”
Fortin added, “The Top 100 set is incredibly challenging to
complete due to several extremely rare entries.
“I believe that NGC’s recognition of the Top 100 Liberty Seated
dime varieties will continue to increase collector awareness for the
series,” he said.
He suspects that increased demand may lead to price increases as
specialists learn about the rarity of certain Top 100 varieties and as
more collectors put together their own Top 100 set. ■