Rare 1894-S Barber Dime Sold For Nearly $2 Million

Rare 1894-S Barber Dime

When is a dime worth millions? When it’s the extremely rare 1894-S Barber that recently fetched nearly $2 million at auction.

Credit: Heritage Auctions

A coin collector has just paid nearly $2 million for a dime, but the 1894-S Barber is by no means an average dime. It is, in fact, one of the rarest in the world, as less than ten are known to exist.

The winner–who paid $1,997,500 for the extremely rare dime–is a seasoned collector who secured the coin’s ownership by outbidding 15 other potential buyers, according to the auction house.

The auction house, Heritage Auctions, also conveyed the new owner’s inclination to remain anonymous. The previous owner also chose to retain their anonymity.

Heritage Auctions, one of the largest auction houses in the world, reported over $860 million in total sales in 2015, marking its second best year to date.

In 2015, the “U.S. Coins” category dragged in more than $254 million in sales as it continued to be the auction house’s largest category.

The recently sold dime that fetched nearly $2 million at auction is one of only 24 produced at the San Francisco Mint and according to The Associated Press, it is likely that there are only nine left in existence.

David Quint, a coin collector, told CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP-TV that the rare dime “has been folklore in numismatics.”

It’s obviously an extremely rare coin and a coin that has been folklore in numismatics […] It’s one of the more famous rare coins

The limited number of Barber dimes minted in S.F. back in 1894 comes as the result of harsh economic times – a nationwide recession. Subsequently, Barber dimes like this one that sold for $1.9 million serves as rare pieces of American history.

In order to stir things up in the search for the other Barbers that may be in existence, of which there might be as many as 13, Heritage Auctions is offering $10,000 to anyone that can produce any genuine specimens that have otherwise gone unreported.

Mark Borckardt, a senior numismatist with the auction house, was quoted by CBS as having said that the missing Barbers “could be in somebody’s desk drawer” or simply “sitting in somebody’s bank box.”

They could be in somebody’s desk drawer. They could be sitting in somebody’s bank box. People could look almost anywhere and they might show up

According to experts, the recently auctioned coin was in perfect condition at the time it was sold.

The coin, which is often lumped in with the 1913 Liberty nickel and the 1804 dollar as part of the trio that is “The Big Three” in American numismatic rarities, was sold at auction on Thursday evening at the Florida United Numismatists show in Tampa, Florida.

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