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1894-S Barber Dime
1894-S Barber dime
General information
Used by

Flag of the United States United States





Measurements and composition

2.5 g


17.9 mm


1.35 mm










Liberty, state title, year


Value surrounded by wreath

v · d · e

The 1894-S Barber Dime was a dime minted by the United States in 1894 at the San Francisco Mint. It has been compared to the 1804 silver dollar and 1913 Liberty Head nickel due to its rarity. Today, it is one of the most prized United States coins for coin collectors. In 2005, one such coin was sold for US$1.3 million. Two years later, in 2007, another was sold for US$1.9 million. Only 24 of these coins were minted, but a mere 9 are known to exist.


During the first half of 1894, 24 proof coins were minted in San Francisco. Very little information is known about these dimes, but it has been accepted that Lieutenant Governor of California, John Daggett was responsible for their creation.

One theory, made by former president of the American Numismatic Association, Farran Zerbe, is that the coins were struck to provide a balance of forty cents needed in order to close a bullion account at the mint in 1894. These were then placed in coin bags, destined to be placed into circulation. Today, Zerbe's theory is often dismissed as false, due to the questions of why a precise amount was used to close a bullion account, and why they were proof, rather than general circulation issues.

In 1972, James Johnson created the currently accepted theory behind the production of the dimes, using information from Earl Parker, who had purchased two of the dimes from Hallie Daggett, John's daughter, in 1950. According to this theory, seven banker friends of John Daggett visited the San Francisco Mint in 1894, and in the desire of souvenirs, each were given three freshly minted proof coins. The remaining three went to Hallie, who apparently spent one on ice cream, and sold the last two to Parker. Though there are some questions about this theory, it is regarded as the most credible, and is accepted as fact.


See also: United States dime#Barber dime

The 1894-S Barber Dime was typical to all Barber Dimes ever produced. It was composed of 90% silver and 10% copper, had a mass of 2.5 grams, a diameter of 17.9 millimeters, and a thickness of 1.35 millimeters, with a reeded edge. Displayed on the obverse was Liberty surrounded by the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and the year of minting below. Shown on the reverse was the value surrounded by a wreath.


Due to the coin's rarity and its mysterious past, the 1894-S Barber Dime is one of the most valuable coins ever minted by the United States. During the late 1990s, one dime was purchased by Bradley Hirst from Richmond, Indiana for $825,000. This same coin was sold in 2005 for $1,322,500 and in 2007 for $1.9 million.


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