US Coins

Market Analysis: Draped Bust dime offers rare variety

The JR-5 1803 Draped Bust dime variety was discovered in 1993 and only four examples are known. This one, graded Very Fine Details, Obverse Spots Removed, brought $6,300.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Collectors seeking rare die varieties sometimes don’t have the option of being too choosey. An 1803 Draped Bust dime, listed as JR-5 in the series reference, graded Numismatic Guaranty Co. Very Fine Details, Obverse Spots Removed, sold for $6,300 at Heritage’s Feb. 24 Premier Session auction.

The variety was discovered by Ed Price at the February 1993 Long Beach Expo, and Price said, “The discovery was a major highlight of my numismatic activities. [Dealer] Jonathan Kern had just received the coin on consignment from another dealer and only had time to glance at it and correctly determine that it was not the very rare JR-1. I arrived at the right moment, recognized what it was, and bought it. Jonathan did not learn what he had sold until he saw the article on the front page of Coin World.”

Four are known today of the variety that combines the obverse of JR-4 (the 3 leans right, with its top parallel to the bust line) and the reverse of JR-1 (where Star 1 is boldly recut with nine distinct points).

Heritage writes that the offered example “displays several thin marks, and the autumn-brown, sky-blue, and ocean-blue surfaces are lightly granular.”

Connect with Coin World:  
Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Access our Dealer Directory  
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

Community Comments