One Dime, Seated Liberty, Coin Type from United States - detailed information

One Dime, Seated Liberty, Coin Type from United States (issued 1837 - 1891)
Coin TypeOne Dime, Seated Liberty

The dime, in United States usage, is a ten-cent coin (10¢), one tenth of a United States dollar, labelled formally as "one dime". The word dime comes from the Old French disme (now dîme), meaning "tithe" or "tenth part", from the Latin decima [pars]. In the past prices have occasionally been quoted on signage and other materials in terms of dimes, abbreviated as "d" or a lowercase "d" with a slash through it (đ) as with the cent and mill signs. After the half dime became five cents in 1873, the dime is now the only United States coin in general circulation that is not denominated in terms of dollars or cents.

After the initial issue of the "Draped Bust" type (1796 - 1807), a second Capped Bust obverse was used until 1837. In 1837, the type was replaced by the Seated Liberty type, and composition was changed to 90% silver and 10% copper. The diameter was slightly increased to 17.9 mm.

The weight was 2.67 grams initially, then was reduced to 2.49 grams in 1853. All silver denominations changed again after the Mint Act of 1873 which, in an attempt to make U.S. coinage the currency of the world, added a small amount of mass to the dime, quarter, and half-dollar to bring their weights in line with fractions of the French 5-franc piece. The change also ensured the quarter dollar (which is valued 2.5 times the dime) weighed 2.5 times the dime (6.25 g), and the half dollar (twice the value of the quarter dollar) weighed twice what the quarter dollar weighed (12.5 g). In this way, a specific weight of these coins, no matter the mixture of denominations, would always be worth the same. This relation in weight and value continued in the cupro-nickel coins from 1965 on. In both instances, the change in weight was indicated on the coins by having arrow heads on both sides of the date. The arrows stayed in the design from 1853 to 1855 and again in 1873 and 1874, and were then removed (later coins stayed with their new weight). A similar design change was also implemented on the half dime, quarter dollar and half dollar coins.

The Seated Liberty portrait designs appeared on most regular-issue silver United States coinage from 1836 through 1891. The denominations which feature the Goddess of Liberty in a Seated Liberty design include the half dime, the dime, the quarter, the half dollar, and until 1873 the silver dollar, as well as the short-lived twenty cent piece. The obverse shows Liberty seated on a rock, holding a pole with a Liberty cap on it and supporting a shield. On the reverse, the denomination is spelled as ONE DIME, unlike on earlier types.

In 1892, the type was replaced by the Liberty Head design (known as the Barber Dime). In later years, there were also changes in size and composition (the dime is now smaller and made of copper-nickel), but these coins have never been demonetised and are still legal tender. This, of course, is of academic interest only, as their numismatic value is enormously higher than their face value.

Obverse
United States / One Dime, Seated Liberty - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows the symbolic figure of Liberty clad in a flowing dress and seated upon a rock. In her left hand, she holds a Liberty pole surmounted by a Phrygian cap (a type of cap which in Ancient Rome was worn by freed slaves). With her right hand, she supports the Union Shield, which has thirteen vertical stripes, white and red, with a blue horizontal bar on top. The colours are represented by heraldic hatching (thin lines indicating the colour - horizontal stripes for blue, vertical for red, no stripes for white). Across the shield, a diagonal banner inscribed with the word LIBERTY.

During 1840, the design was slightly modified with additional drapery of Liberty's dress, flowing down from her left elbow.

Between 1838 and 1859, there were thirteen stars around above representing the 13 original states. In 1860 and later, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA instead.

In the exergue below the figure, the date of issue: [year]. Between 1853 and 1855 and in 1873-1874, arrows on both sides of the date indicate a reduction and later increase in the weight of the denomination.

The rim is beaded.

Obverse Inscription ************* [year]
Reverse
United States / One Dime, Seated Liberty - reverse photo

There were two versions of the reverse design. Both of them display, at centre, the value and denomination ONE DIME (five cents) on two lines, surrounded by a wreath.

The earlier reverse (1837 to 1860), by Christian Gobrecht, has a laurel wreath surrounding the value. Around the outer rim, the name of the country: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

The later reverse (1860 to 1891), by James Barton Longacre, has a larger and more detailed wreath of wheat (called a "cereal wreath" by some sources) and no legend around (it was transferred to the obverse).

Coins struck by the Philadelphia Mint have no mint mark. Coins struck by other mints have a mint mark in the form of a small letter above (1838 - 1860) or below (1860 - 1891) the ribbon tying the wreath.

The rim is beaded.

Reverse Inscription ONE DIME UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: One Dime, Seated Liberty - (56) Coins
Coin NameMintageSymbolLegend
One Dime 1837 Seated Liberty 682,500 Seated Liberty 1837
One Dime 1838 Seated Liberty 2,398,534 Seated Liberty ************* 1838
One Dime 1839 Seated Liberty 2,344,715 Seated Liberty ************* 1839
One Dime 1840 Seated Liberty 2,727,500 Seated Liberty ************* 1840
One Dime 1841 Seated Liberty 3,630,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1841
One Dime 1842 Seated Liberty 3,907,500 Seated Liberty ************* 1842
One Dime 1843 Seated Liberty 1,520,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1843
One Dime 1844 Seated Liberty 72,500 Seated Liberty ************* 1844
One Dime 1845 Seated Liberty 1,985,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1845
One Dime 1846 Seated Liberty 31,300 Seated Liberty ************* 1846
One Dime 1847 Seated Liberty 245,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1847
One Dime 1848 Seated Liberty 451,500 Seated Liberty ************* 1848
One Dime 1849 Seated Liberty 1,139,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1849
One Dime 1850 Seated Liberty 2,441,500 Seated Liberty ************* 1850
One Dime 1851 Seated Liberty 1,426,500 Seated Liberty ************* 1851
One Dime 1852 Seated Liberty 1,965,500 Seated Liberty ************* 1852
One Dime 1853 Seated Liberty 13,273,010 Seated Liberty *************←1853 →
One Dime 1854 Seated Liberty 6,240,000 Seated Liberty *************←1854 →
One Dime 1855 Seated Liberty 2,075,000 Seated Liberty *************←1855 →
One Dime 1856 Seated Liberty 7,030,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1856
One Dime 1857 Seated Liberty 7,120,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1857
One Dime 1858 Seated Liberty 1,890,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1858
One Dime 1859 Seated Liberty 970,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1859
One Dime 1860 Seated Liberty, with Stars 140,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1860
One Dime 1860 Seated Liberty, no Stars 647,000 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1860
One Dime 1861 Seated Liberty 2,056,500 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1861
One Dime 1862 Seated Liberty 1,028,300 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1862
One Dime 1863 Seated Liberty 171,960 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1863
One Dime 1864 Seated Liberty 241,470 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1864
One Dime 1865 Seated Liberty 186,000 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1865
One Dime 1866 Seated Liberty 143,725 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1866
One Dime 1867 Seated Liberty 146,625 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1867
One Dime 1868 Seated Liberty 724,600 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1868
One Dime 1869 Seated Liberty 706,600 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1869
One Dime 1870 Seated Liberty 521,500 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1870
One Dime 1871 Seated Liberty 1,247,810 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1871
One Dime 1872 Seated Liberty 2,621,930 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1872
One Dime 1873 Seated Liberty 4,432,691 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ←1873 →
One Dime 1874 Seated Liberty 3,190,817 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ←1874 →
One Dime 1875 Seated Liberty 24,065,700 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1875
One Dime 1876 Seated Liberty 30,141,150 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1876
One Dime 1877 Seated Liberty 17,350,510 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1877
One Dime 1878 Seated Liberty 1,878,000 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1878
One Dime 1879 Seated Liberty 15,100 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1879
One Dime 1880 Seated Liberty 37,335 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1880
One Dime 1881 Seated Liberty 24,975 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1881
One Dime 1882 Seated Liberty 3,911,100 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1882
One Dime 1883 Seated Liberty 7,675,712 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1883
One Dime 1884 Seated Liberty 3,931,349 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1884
One Dime 1885 Seated Liberty 2,577,117 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1885
One Dime 1886 Seated Liberty 6,584,094 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1886
One Dime 1887 Seated Liberty 15,738,389 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1887
One Dime 1888 Seated Liberty 7,216,487 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1888
One Dime 1889 Seated Liberty 8,353,389 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1889
One Dime 1890 Seated Liberty 11,334,617 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1890
One Dime 1891 Seated Liberty 23,046,716 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1891
Advertising
Bullion just a click away! SilverGoldBull.com
Bullion just a click away! SilverGoldBull.com
One Dime, Seated Liberty: Details
CountryUnited States
CurrencyUS Dollar
Sub-type ofOne Dime
From1837
To1891
Face Value10 (x Cent)
CurrentNo
Material0.900 Silver
DesignerChristian Gobrecht, James Barton Longacre
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size17.900 mm
Mass2.670 g