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Ultra-Rare ‘Legendary’ 1894 Dime Could Fetch More Than $1 Million at Auction



An ultra-rare silver dime from the 1800s is expecting to fetch $1 million or more when it is presented at an auction.

Also known as a The 1894-S Barber Dime was minted in San Francisco, and is one of only nine that are known to exist today, according to auction house Stack’s Bowers Galleries in Illinois. Some believe that an original collection of 24 was serendipitously struck at the San Francisco Mint for use up some remains silver bullion

Stack’s Bowers Galleries said in a release “It is one of the classic rarities in all of numismatics, a legendary coin in the same league as the 1804 silver dollar and 1913 Liberty Head nickel,” also said “Even collectors of old money with enough funds to get an 1894-S dime are often belated in, if not denied, realizing their dream for lack of a buying occasion.”

Courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Only 24 Barber Dimes was created from leftover silver bullion in June 1894, through a period of economic stagnation in the U.S. that left dime presses mostly idle.

Just nine of those dimes are known to exist today, the rest of them lost or destroyed, making this a key piece in the United States’ numismatic history.

This dime was buying at auction 31 years ago for $70,400, and online bidding for the coin has already reached $850,000. In 2016, other “94-S” dime fetched $2 million at a Florida auction, making the existing $1 million estimates look more and more likely.

The dime is named for its designer, Charles E. Barber, the sixth president engraver of the U.S. Mint, and the “S” in 1894-S suggest the U.S. minting facility where it was struck, in San Francisco, according to Barrons.

The coins were created by the San Francisco Mint at a period when dimes were made of 90% silver and 10% other metals. In 1965, the materials turn into an alloy of copper and nickel, as the price of silver was risen up.

There are several theories as to why only 24 were made have been produced, to see more detailed about those coins, go to the Stack’s website.

Courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries

According to the Auction House, the coin is so rare has not been put in the market in 31 years, when Stack’s sold it in January 1953. Barber Dimes have traditionally spent contract in held-tightly collections.

The 1894-S Barber dime has ranked No. 6 in the popular and influential reference 100 Greatest U.S. Coins by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth. On Thursday, August 15, transcend the block at the ‘American Numismatic Association’ (ANA) World’s Fair of Money as part of the E. Horatio Morgan set, a private cabinet with several treasures.

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