Seated Liberty Dimes
The United States Seated Liberty Dime, also known as the Seated Liberty 10-cent piece, is a numismatic treasure with a rich and fascinating history that spans over a century. This small but significant coin has witnessed the evolution of the United States, bearing witness to profound historical events and societal changes. Its design, engraving, and composition tell a story of liberty, freedom, and the enduring legacy of this iconic denomination.
The Seated Liberty Dime made its debut in 1837 as part of a new design series for the dime denomination. This series was the brainchild of Christian Gobrecht, who served as the Chief Engraver at the United States Mint during that period. Gobrecht’s artistic vision brought Lady Liberty to the forefront, where she was prominently depicted seated on a rock, symbolizing freedom and strength. This enduring image of Lady Liberty has become an iconic symbol of American coinage.
In the design, Lady Liberty is portrayed wearing a flowing gown, exuding grace and elegance. Her left hand rests upon a shield, boldly inscribed with the word “LIBERTY,” reinforcing the core principles that the United States was founded upon. Her right hand holds a pole topped with a Phrygian cap, a symbol of liberty and emancipation that traces its roots to ancient Rome. This combination of elements eloquently captures the spirit of a nation that cherishes its ideals of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The reverse side of the Seated Liberty Dime features a wreath encircling the denomination “10 CENTS” and, if applicable, the mint mark. This reverse design was a testament to the attention to detail and aesthetics that went into the creation of these coins. The Seated Liberty Dime was produced in various mints across the United States, and these mint marks serve as a historical record of where these coins were struck.
The composition of the Seated Liberty Dime has evolved over time. In its early years, it was struck in a composition of 90% silver and 10% copper, with a diameter of 17.9 mm and a weight of 2.67 grams. The combination of silver and copper gave the coin a unique luster and a distinct appearance. The intrinsic value of the silver content made these dimes not only a symbol of liberty but also a representation of monetary value.