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1807 Bust Dime

Bust Dime

The Bust Dime, so called because it features a bust of LIBERTY on the obverse, or front, of the coin, was the first US dime produced for circulation.

It shares its design with other circulating coins of the time, including large cents, half dimes, quarters, half dollars, dollars, and gold coinage.

There are two types of Bust Dimes - Draped Bust and Capped Bust. Below you will find more information both, including varieties, composition and mintages.

Draped Bust Dime 1796-1807

The Draped Bust design matched other coins of the time with Liberty featured on the obverse (front) and an eagle on the back that was highly criticized because it looked "scrawny".

This variety is now known as the small eagle reverse (1796-1797).

The heraldic eagle reverse, patterned after the Great Seal of the United States, appeared in 1798 and was more widely accepted.

(click image for larger view)
Draped Bust Dime 1796-1807
Draped Bust Dime Small Eagle Draped Bust Dime Heraldic Eagle
Small Eagle
Heraldic Eagle
Type Draped Bust
Designer Robert Scot
Years Minted Small Eagle - 1796-1797
Heraldic Eagle - 1798-1807
Weight 2.70 grams
Composition .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Diameter 19 mm
Edge reeded
Mints Philadelphia - no mint mark
Mintage Small Eagle
1796 - 22,135
1797 - 25,261

Heraldic Eagle
1798 - 27,550
1800 - 21,760
1801 - 34,640
1802 - 10,975
1803 - 33,040
1804 - 8,265
1805 - 120,780
1807 - 165,000

Capped Bust 1809-1837

This new design for the dime piece received a whole new look. The bald eagle is on the reverse holding three arrows for strength and an olive branch for peace.

This is the only time that a dime piece noted the denomination on the coin. Later coins would include the words "ONE DIME".

A U.S shield covers the eagle's breast and "10 C." rests near the bottom of the reverse.

In 1828 the diameter was slightly decreased and the coin was made thicker in order to contain the required amount of silver content.

This came about due to new technology that was put into practice........A restraining collar was used when striking the coins. This kept the coin from spreading as far and at the same time reeded the edge.

The process of placing reeds on the edge was previously done by hand, so this new procedure speeded up production time.

This new process also made the coins more uniform in size and easier to stack.

(click image for larger view)
Capped Bust Dime 1809-1837
Capped Bust Dime
Type Capped Bust
Designer John Reich
Years Minted Large Type - 1809-1828
Small Type - 1828-1837
Weight 2.70 grams
Composition .8924 silver, .1076 copper
changed to .900 fine silver in 1837
Diameter Large Type - 18.8 mm
Small Type - 18.5 mm
Edge reeded
Mints Philadelphia - no mint mark
Mintage Large Type
1809 - 50,065
1811 - 65,180
1814 - 421,500
1820 - 942,587
1821 - 1,186,512
1822 - 100,000
1823 - 440,000
1824-25 - 510,000
1827 - 1,215,000
1828 - 125,000

Small Type
1829 - 770,000
1830 - 510,000
1831 - 771,350
1832 - 522,500
1833 - 485,000
1834 - 635,000
1835 - 1,410,000
1836 - 1,190,000
1837 - 359,500

For some great deals on U.S. Bust Dimes and Coin Supplies visit my friends at Jake's Marketplace, Inc. They have a very comprehensive selection to choose from and give great discounts!

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