1796 Draped Bust Dime
The 1796 Draped Bust Dime was the first year of issue for the series and only one of two years to carry the small eagle reverse design. With a mintage of 22,135 pieces, this issue is of roughly equal rarity to the 1797 dime, although it is known for some high grade examples, above gem condition and often with proof like surfaces.
This has led to the interesting conclusion by some that perhaps specimen or presentation strikings were made, either for important people, or as mementos to the first dimes struck at the Philadelphia Mint. While none of this has ever confirmed, it appears that some special circumstances led to the creation of some high-end 1796 dimes, the best of their type and the coins of choice for a high-end type set. Truly original pieces of this year easily sell for 6 digit values, while circulated examples in problem-free condition are not easy to acquire either.
In April 2009, a 1796 Draped Bust Dime graded NGC MS 67 with the star designation realized a price of $253,000 at auction. The coin was described as “prooflike mint state” in reference to its special appearance, which in the past may have been described as a proof or specimen striking.
1798/7 Draped Bust Dime, 13 Stars on Reverse
The 1798/7 Draped Bust Dime with 13 Stars on reverse represents an interesting variety for the series, and is one of two overdates known for the year. The other overdate contains 14 stars on the reverse.
The overdate with 13 stars on reverse is easily the rarer of the two, represented by only a few uncirculated examples and fewer than 30 examples known in all grades. Most of these are well circulated, damaged, or both, and finding a problem-free example in any grade can require a significant amount of time.
Listed in the Red Book as a separate variety, this is the scarcest variety in the early dime series that is not a separate date. The overdate is bold, making identification easy even on low-grade examples.
1804 Draped Bust Dime
The rarest date amongst the early dimes is the 1804 Draped Bust Dime with a mintage of just 8,265 pieces. This was the only sub-10,000 mintage for the dime denomination until the 1860’s.
Seldom offered for sale, this date is comprised of two major varieties, identified by either thirteen or fourteen stars on the reverse. Both varieties are rare, with the fourteen star variety commanding a premium at most grade levels.
No uncirculated examples of the 1804 dime have been graded, although a single fourteen star variety comes close. This example was graded NGC AU-58 with CAC verification and is believed to the be finest in existence. The coin sold for the amazing sum of $632,500 at an auction held in July 2008. This was by far the highest price ever realized for a Draped Bust Dime of any issue or variety.
taken from: http://drapedbustdime.com/