1894-S Barber Dime to lead Heritage FUN Convention sale

Buffalo Nicky

Buffalo Nicky

2015-12-30 14:02:21

One of the world's rarest and most sought-after U.S coins will be offered at Heritage next week: the legendary 1894-S Barber Dime.

Described as "one of the most famous, mysterious and elusive coins in American numismatics", the dime will appear at auction for only the fourth time in history.

Just 24 Barber Dimes were struck at the San Francisco Mint in June of 1894, allegedly in order to balance a bullion account. Of those 24 coins, five were melted and assayed, and the rest were released into circulation without a thought that they may become almost mythical rarities. But with the U.S in the throes of a widespread economic recession, there was little need for small change and no further dimes were struck in San Francisco that year.

Today just eight or nine examples are believed to remain in existence, and the coin set to cross the block in Tampa is the finest of these, graded Branch Mint PR66 PCGS Secure.

Having passed through the collections of renowned numismatists such as John H. Clapp, Louis E. Eliasberg and James A. Stack, the coin sold privately in 2007 for $1.9 million and is now expected to exceed that amount at auction.

"The 1894-S Barber dime is a classic in American coinage," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "This legendary coin is often grouped with the 1804 dollar and the 1913 Liberty nickel as 'The Big Three' of U.S. coin rarities. It has been the stuff of collector dreams since it was first mentioned in the numismatic press by Augustus Heaton in 1900."

Further highlights from the sale will include an 1870-S Silver Dollar XF40 PCGS, the rarest regular issue silver dollar and the fourth-finest example; the finest-known 1849-C G$1 Open Wreath MS62 PCGS Secure, regarded as one of the rarest and most valuable coins in the U.S. gold series; an 1804 Quarter Eagle, 13 Stars Reverse, AU55 PCGS Secure CAC; and the much-stpried 1943-S 1C Struck on a Bronze Planchet AU55 PCGS Secure, one of just six known examples.

The Heritage Auctions Platinum Night sale takes place at the FUN Convention in Tampa, Florida on January 7.

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