1856 LIBERTY SEATED 10C, SMALL DATE, DRAPERY PR66
GEM PROOF. ONLY 40-50 STRUCK.
NGC Graded Higher:
1856 saw the declaration of the Free-State of Topeka in the Kansas Territory, a move which President Franklin Pierce viewed as a rebellion though the new government sent their constitution to Washington DC to be ratified. Though the Topeka government was never recognized, the final draft of its constitution led to Kansas’ acceptance as a US state in 1861. This 1856 dime recalls the first move in turning the Territory of Kansas into the state of Kansas.
Beginning in 1853, the United States Mint lowered the weight of the Dime from 2.67 grams to 2.49 grams. This was done to discourage the hoarding and melting of silver coins that became popular (and profitable) during the California Gold Rush era. Due to the vast majority of gold being mined on the U.S. West Coast, the value of silver reckoned in gold increased on the world market to the point where old-tenor Dimes became worth more as bullion than as circulating coinage. In order to denote this weight reduction, the Mint placed arrows at both sides of the date beginning after February 21, 1853 and continuing through 1855. Since they were struck during the era before the Mint began widespread marketing of proof coins, specimen strikings of the 1853-1855 Arrows Dime were produced in very limited quantities. All three dates of this short-lived type and rare in proof format, and survivors enjoy strong demand among both advanced type collectors and numismatic investors.