Liberty Seated Dime Grading
Some observations about the condition of a Seated Dime can be made quickly at home by taking a closer look. For example, on the 1838-1840 subtype Without Drapery, the higher relief minting can lead to accelerated wear on the surface. This damage is indicated by a lack of detectable detailing and an inconsistent level of legibility to the word, "Liberty."
Coins have many details and they should all be thoroughly examined. Start with one as a point of reference and place other coins either higher or lower in terms of condition based on your own personal evaluation. For example, you can start by taking a close look at the coin’s inscriptions. If the images and text are worn down, eroded or hard to read, your coin may only be in Good condition. If the words and letters are readable but show signs of erosion or discoloration, your coin may be considered in Fine condition. Other signs of wear to look for include rims that have been rubbed away and wreaths with leaves that have become indiscernible.
If the inscriptions are robust with no visible signs of age-related wear and tear, the coin could be in what is called Extremely Fine condition. To be assigned a grade of Extremely Fine, all details on both sides of the coin must be in near-perfect condition, so carefully examine every aspect. With Seated Dimes, even the hairlines of Lady Liberty must be looked at with scrutiny.