MS67-graded 1796 10c coin sets new world record

An MS67-graded 1796 10c coin led Heritage Auctions' sale of the Eugene H Gardner collection in New York on June 23, achieving $881,250 - a new world record for a 1796 10c.

The coin features an extraordinarily bold strike without the die cud that appears on every other dime minted in 1796, indicating that this could have been the first of the issue ever struck.

1796 dime Heritage
The 1796 JR-1 dime is thought to be the first ever to be issued by the US Mint

Heritage described the lot prior to the auction as "a coin of such importance that it is the single finest known of its variety�ǪThis coin shows every indication of being a specimen or presentation strike.

"There is no doubt in the minds of the senior cataloguing staff at Heritage on that issue, even though it is not acknowledged as such by PCGS�Ǫ

"Could this have been the very first example struck?"

Its status clearly struck a chord with collectors - another example of the same grade sold for a significantly lower $253,000 in 2009.

Last year the finest known quarter from 1796 sold for $1.5m at Heritage.

Other lots included a near-gem 1876 20c that made $470,000.

The coin sold previously in 1997 for $148,500, equating to a return of 7.0% pa over 17 years.

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