A survey of 19th century business strike coin
10C CAPPED BUST, SMALL SIZE (1828-1837)
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||DIMES - CAPPED BUST, SMALL SIZE
||NGC MS 65
The Reduced Size Capped Bust dime was the first U.S. coin the mint produced using a new technology. Prior to 1828 two steps were required to strike coins that had reeding or lettering on the edge. First the edge markings were sunk into the rims using a Castaing machine. Then the coin was struck using a press that had an open collar. The collar provided a guide for placing the coin in the press, but it did not contain the coin when it was struck. In 1828 William Kneass, who had been appointed Chief Mint Engraver in 1824, introduced an innovative process that was part of a program to improve the mint’s products and its operations. Under this process blank planchets were feed into a closed collar that had reeding marks in its circumference. When the obverse and reverse dies came together to strike the coin, the reeding was imparted upon the piece at the same time. These “closed collar” coins were an improvement over the earlier issues in several ways. First, one step in producing the coins was eliminated. Second, the coins had a uniform diameter. Third the coins were given a higher outer rim that provided a greater level of protection to the design. That prolonged the useful life of the coins. Gradually all U.S. coins would be struck in the closed collar. The only disadvantage to the new technology was that edge lettering was no longer possible. Striking a coin in a closed with edge lettering would have resulting in fusing the coin to collar together. In the early 1900s that problem was solved when the retractable segmented collar came into use. That device was introduced on the St. Gaudens ten and twenty dollar gold coins.The coin shown here is a gem quality example with magnificent toning.