1859 Patterns by Variety | Patterns by Date

Obverse of Judd 233       Reverse of Judd 233

1859 "Transitional" Dime

PCGS No: 4749, 11956

Rarity: Very Rare

Variety equivalents: Judd 233, Pollock 280

Metal content:



Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles

The 1859 Transitional Dime features an obverse of the pre-1860 "Stars Obverse" design, with a new, post-1859 reverse.  An unusual aspect of this combination is that "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" has been omitted, making this a coin without a country.

PCGS has certified 6 1859 Transitional Dimes, the finest of which are 2 PR-66's.

Significant examples:
PCGS Proof-63 (illustrated above)
- Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 587, where it was described (in part) as follows: "Always a popular issue, the "Transitional" name is given because the design of the dime was changed from 1859 to 1860 where the name of our country was moved from the reverse to the obverse. This curious pattern issue was struck using the new reverse die for 1860 and the old style obverse of 1859, with stars surrounding Liberty. Hence, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA does not appear on the coin. Listed in the Guide Book for many years has keep constant pressure on the few available. PCGS has graded a total of 12 coins of this famous design, with 3 in this grade and the rest in higher grades. The coin is bright and untoned and is exceptionally sharp. We note a strong raised fin or knife edge surrounding parts of the obverse as the dies really pounded this coin to bring up the design elements so perfectly. There are some moderate hairlines which account for the grade, but no signs of mishandling otherwise. In order to track this coin into its numismatic future, we note a tiny planchet flake in the field near the right ribbon point on the reverse and a couple of very microscopic specks in the field midway between the second and third obverse stars and Liberty's right arm (viewers left)."
- Superior 07/2005:318, not sold

Sources and/or recommended reading:
The PCGS Population Report, July 2005, Professional Coin Grading Service