US Coins

NGC identifies second-known 1796 JR-7 dime

Numismatic Guaranty Corp. has authenticated only the second known example of the JR-7 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle dime.

The new find, from a decades-old private collection, is graded and encapsulated by NGC as Very Good 8. Bust coin researcher and author Winston Zack values this second known piece at between $20,000 and $40,000.

A previously unique example, discovered in 2002 by numismatist Brian Greer, was encapsulated as Fair Details, Obverse Graffiti, Improperly Cleaned, by NGC's affiliate, Numismatic Conservation Services. The discovery piece realized $11,500 in an August 2008 sale by Heritage Auctions.

The newly authenticated find, authenticated and attributed by NGC, was submitted by Ron Drzewucki Sr. from R and D Enterprises in Florissant, Mo., according to grading service officials. NGC officials said Drzewucki indicated the JR-7 1796 Draped Bust dime was part of an old collection that has been off the market for nearly six decades.

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Drzewucki's dime was the only dime in a seven-coin submission to NGC's VarietyPlus service. NGC's director of numismatic research, David W. Lange, was able to immediately identify the dime's reverse as a known reverse, Reverse D, the same one used for the JR-4 and JR-5 dime varieties.

However, the obverse from Drzewucki's 1796 dime did not match either obverse in the JR-4 and JR-5 die marriages. That left the possibility of a second example of JR-7 or a previously unreported die marriage.

Lange was able to match the obverse of Drzewucki's coin to the diagnostics of the previously unique JR-7 coin, which was used as the plate coin in Bust Dime Variety Identification Guide by Winston Zack, Louis Scuderi and Michael Sherill.

"Discoveries like this are exactly what we hoped the outcome of our project and book would involve," Zack said of his collaborative reference released in 2015. "A higher graded example certainly adds so much more information than what the previously unique example could tell us."

Lange said he is submitting a detailed article on the recent find for an upcoming issue of the John Reich Journal, the official periodical of the John Reich Collectors Society.

Since the JR-7 variety was not identified by Greer until 2002, it was not published in the 1984 reference, Early United States Dimes 1796-1837 by David J. Davis, Russell J. Logan, Allen F. Lovejoy, John W. McCloskey and William L. Subjack.


The JR-7 variety can be identified by the obverse, Obverse 6, exhibiting a relatively close 79 in the date, according to Zack.

"Although we are talking mere millimeters, the '79' for JR-7 is closer together than any of the other 1796 obverse dies," Zack said.

For the reverse, Reverse D, which is shared with JR-4 and JR-5, there are two berries below E in UNITED. The berries are on stems that appear to grow out of leaves. A leaf tip is below the right base of the A in STATES.

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