Superb Original "Master Coin" Proof 1834 Dime
John Reich 1 : Large, perfect 4. Reverse with double shaft on top arrow. Obverse die finely cracked, connecting the tip of Liberty’s bust to the inner side point of star one through seven. Another fine obverse die crack connects the outside points of stars 3 through 6.
Fully original surfaces exhibit natural toning that is exceptional in color, with slightly iridescent blue and violet prominent on the upper obverse, about the obverse rim, and on the lower reverse, blending to faint peach and rose on the lower obverse and most of the reverse. The strike is nearly complete, with only Liberty’s highest hair curl below B, and the opposing lower arrow feathers on the reverse slightly rounded. With a strong glass and just the right light, some faint reverse hairlines barely appear. A tiny reverse planchet flake in the field below the eagle’s wing at right is about the only marker. In fact, this coin is in exactly the same state as sold in the James A. Stack, Sr. collection in January 1990. Additionally, this Gem Proof was struck from the same die pair as the King of Siam Proof 1834 Dime, an additional testament to its “Master Coin” status.
PCGS reports a total of six Proof 1834 Dimes certified, led by the PR67 included in the ‘King of Siam’ 1804/1834 Proof Set. This PR66+ is clearly second, formerly in the phenomenal collection of James A. Stack, with John Jay Pittman’s PCGS PR65 third, sold most recently within the Gene Gardner Collection.
Four obverses and six reverses were combined for seven die pairs used to strike 1834 Dimes. Of the eight or so 1834 Proof Dimes known, the most convincing ‘no-question’ coins are struck from two of these die pairs, JR.1 and JR.6. This creates a puzzle, as die evidence points to JR.1 as the first die pair employed for 1834, while JR.6 was used later in the emission sequence. However, the 1804/1834 presentation proof sets were not ordered until late in 1834, yet the most famous ‘King of Siam’ set includes a JR.1 1834 dime struck early in the year.
James A. Stack, Sr.; Stack’s January 1990, lot 48 @ $49,500 as “Choice Brilliant Proof”; later ‘Boston’ Collection.