Under the Coinage Act of 1792, the Draped Bust Dimes were struck from a composition of 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper, with a weight of 2.70 grams (41.67 grains). Both the weight and fineness of individual examples can vary slightly. All coins were struck with a reeded edge and have a diameter of 19 millimeters.
Production quality varies widely, although most are weakly struck in some areas. The centers are notoriously known for their weakness, while the obverse stars are also an area of concern. The striking quality of these early American coins varies with each die variety.
When selecting premium quality pieces for a type collection, the quality of the surfaces is important. Many Draped Bust Dimes have been cleaned, while others were bent and straightened, or otherwise damaged. Obtaining a high quality example in circulated condition, with original problem-free surfaces and excellent eye appeal might require a significant amount of searching. When found however, it should prove to be an ideal investment, and a conversation piece which reflects early American history at its best.