1861-H 10C NGC MS65

Fantastically toned coin with deep blue and purple toning on an incredibly well struck coin. These half-dimes just don’t come this well struck and original. In 1835, newly appointed Mint Director Robert M. Patterson appointed Christian Gobrecht as the second engraver. The Gobrecht Seated Liberty design was adapted for use on half dimes and dimes in 1837. It depicted a robed Liberty seated on a rock, holding in her right hand the Union Shield inscribed with LIBERTY and a staff topped with a Liberty cap in her left. Except for the date, the figure sits alone in clear fields. The reverse features a laurel wreath enclosing the denomination HALF DIME, with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA encircling the periphery. As opposed to the later coins issued with obverse stars, the cleanness of the fields gave the coin a powerful, aesthetic impact, often presenting a cameo appearance on higher grade pieces.

In 1860, Chief Engraver James B. Longacre redesigned the Seated Liberty half dime for the last time. Known as the Legend Obverse type, it retained the seated Liberty figure holding a staff topped with a Liberty cap. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA replaced the thirteen stars that had surrounded Liberty on previous versions. The simple reverse wreath was discarded and replaced by an elaborate one made up of sprigs of corn, wheat, oak and maple and tied with a bow at the bottom (this Cereal Wreath motif by Paquet was also used on the Seated Liberty and Barber dimes). The denomination HALF DIME appears within the wreath.