Barber dimes, especially those rare and sought-after examples, are a must for the majority of coin collections. These notable 10-cent coins are particularly valuable for their silver content, history, and iconic design.
While the value of Barber dimes varies considerably with their grade, mintmark and rarity, they tend to fetch a high value at auctions and their value is reportedly increasing with time. Rare and notable Barber dimes include the 1894-S, 1895-O, and 1893 dimes. Error coins such as the 1893 “3 Over 2” and the 1905-O “Micro-O” are also valued highly.
Today, we will provide you with a comprehensive Barber dime value chart and a guide to the top 7 most valuable Barber dimes of all time. We will also guide you through the features of a Barber dime to help you when identifying, buying or selling these coins.
Barber Dime Background
The Barber dime was produced between 1892 and 1916 by the renowned designer Charles E. Barber. Edward Leech, the director of the United States Mint, set up a competition for the design of the new coinage. Ironically, due to lack of monetary incentive, the competition did not receive any suitable entries. Leech therefore commissioned Barber, the chief engraver of the US Mint at the time, to redesign the dime, specifically requesting a change from a seated Liberty to the head of Liberty on the obverse side.
Coin Design And Specifications
The obverse of the Barber dime features the side profile of the head of Miss Liberty, facing to the right side. She is wearing the iconic Phrygian cap and a laurel wreath placed on top of her detailed, wavy hair. A band sitting above Liberty’s forehead displays the word “liberty”, while the date is inscribed below her portrait. Finally, the words “United States of America” surround the portrait.
The reverse features the words “One Dime” and an intricate wreath of key crops and wild plant species representing the US including wheat and oak leaves.
In terms of composition, Barber dimes are made of 90% silver and 10% copper. They weigh 2.5 grams, their diameter measures 17.9 mm, and their edges are reeded.
Barber Dime Mint Marks
The mint mark on a Barber dime can be found directly below the wreath on the reverse side. There were 4 mints responsible for striking the Barber dime between 1892 and 1916:
- O mint mark – Barber dimes with the O mint mark were minted in New Orleans. This mint struck dimes between 1892 and 1909. A key Barber dime with a low mintage in New Orleans is the 1895-O dime. In total, New Orleans struck over 48 million dimes.
- S mint mark – Barber dimes with the S mint mark were minted in San Francisco. Dimes were minted here is all years other than 1894. The 1892-S is one of the rarest and most renowned coins in numismatics. San Francisco minted over 52 million dimes in total.
- D mint mark – Barber dimes with the D mint mark were minted in Denver. This mint began to strike coins from 1906 onwards, but did not produce any dimes in 1913 and 1915. In total, Denver produced around 55 million dimes.
- No mint mark – Barber dimes without a mint mark were produced in the Philadelphia mint. This mint tended to produce the most Barber dimes each year apart from 1894 and 1895 when there was a low mintage. Philadelphia produced by far the greatest amount of Barber dimes – over 346 million dimes in total!
Most Common Barber Dime Errors
The two most notable errors when it comes to the Barber dime series are the 1893 “3 Over 2” dimes and the 1905-O “Micro O” dimes.
The 1893 “3 Over 2” dimes are an example of an overdate error whereby the date 1893 has been struck over the top of the date 1892. This rare error can make a coin more valuable. In good condition the error dime can fetch $160, in fine condition $177, in extremely fine condition $228, and in uncirculated MS63 $1,981!
The 1905-O “Micro O” dimes are fairly self-explanatory. The O mint mark appears much smaller than usual on the reverse side. There is also a 1905 “Big O” error but the “Micro O” error is much rare and hence much more valuable. This error coin in good condition may fetch $28, in fine condition $121, in extremely fine condition $228, and in uncirculated MS63 condition $3,873!
Barber Dime Value
Whether you have a Barber dime that you want to sell, or are looking to buy your own Barber dime for your coin collection, we have assembled a handy table to check this coin’s value. We will also discuss the top 7 most valuable Barber dimes along with their all-time auction records! Additionally, we will discuss the most common error coins which can drastically raise the value within this coin series.
Barber Dime Value Chart
Let’s take a closer look at the average value of Barber dimes based on year produced, mintmark, and condition. Please bear in mind that values are subject to continuous change depending on the coin collecting market, supply and demand, and individuals sellers. The prices stated here are accurate at the time of writing, based on the USA Coin Book. Dashes do not mean no value, they mean there is no average value usually because the coin is extremely rare and very few or no examples have come up for auction. Prices are in USD.
|Year and Mint Mark||Good / $||Fine / $||Extremely Fine / $||Uncirculated (MS63) / $|
Top 7 Most Valuable Barber Dimes
As you may have noticed, the most valuable Barber dimes tend to be the oldest editions and/or the rarest coins struck. Where coins were struck in a low mintage, these Barber dimes are incredibly scarce and hence incredibly valuable. The rarest of them all – the 1894-S dime – has a mintage of only 24 and has no average value on the chart because it has probably never come up in auction.
The 1895-O dime is another edition of note. While this coin is not as rare as the 1894-S dime, it is still very hard to track down on the coin market.
The condition of a coin heavily affects is value. Uncirculated coins are more difficult to find, but those in mint uncirculated condition and Proof coins are real treasures and will fetch a higher value, often claiming thousands of dollars at auction depending on the edition.
Here, we have assembled the top 7 most valuable Barber dimes of all-time along with their impressive auction records…
1. 1894-S 10C, PR66
First on our list is the legendary 1894-S Barber dime. With a mintage of only 24, this has to be one of the rarest coins of all-time! It’s legendary status is often compared to other numismatic classics including the 1804 dollar and the 1913 Liberty nickel.
In 2016, this coin was sold for a stunning $1,997,500! The mint condition and the fact this was a proof coin drove the price up considerably.
This individual coin is one of an estimated 9 surviving examples of the 1894-S Barber dime. But why is this coin so rare? The Panic of 1893 is a famous event in US history, causing a serious economic recession. This meant that, while the San Francisco mint had prepared to strike the “regular” number of dimes this year, they only managed 24 before the Panic caused small change to become unnecessary.
2. 1900 10C, PR68+ Cameo
Second on the list today, with an auction record less than half that of the miraculous 1894-S dime, is the 1900 proof dime with no mint mark (i.e. struck in Philadelphia).
While the 1900 Barber dime is not really a rare coin, a proof edition with a stunning 68+ grade is a real treasure. This coin sold in 2020 for a whopping $66,000! It was poetically described with “liquidlike mirroring in the fields…bands of vivid ocean-blue and violet engulf the margins. The interiors are light golden to brilliant in color, and neither side has discernible flaws”.
3. 1893-S 10C, MS67
Another Barber dime with a low mintage, the 1893 Barber dime minted in San Francisco is a rare find. Even more so when in mint condition. This particular coin was graded at MS67 and is the only Barber dime of its kind with such immaculate condition known to exist!
In 2005, the 1893-S MS67 Barber dime achieved an auction record of $63,250! It was described as a Superb Gem with a bold strike and a multitude of stunning tints on both the obverse and reverse due to excellent condition.
4. 1895-O 10C, MS67
1895 Barber dimes are a rare find, and particularly tricky to source in uncirculated condition. This makes them another expensive edition! Those which were minted in the New Orleans Mint have a much lower mintage – only 440,000 – and are therefore more valuable and harder to track down.
There is an incredibly low certified number of 1895-O Barber dimes in existence, and most of these are in lower grades. The record-breaking 1895-O MS67 Barber dime fetched a massive $58755.88 at auction in 2017! The inscriptions were described as razor-sharp with exquisite toning and an impressive mint luster.
5. 1916 Pattern Dime, PR25
While 1916 Barber dimes are not particularly rare, there were several proof editions minted with rare and stunning pattern alternatives. The 1916 Mercury Dime is one of these rarities and particularly of note because 1916 was the last year in which Barber dimes were produced. Auctioning of this coin is incredibly rare so finding one is like finding a real treasure!
The 1916 pattern dime was graded at Proof 25 with miniscule signs of damage and deep toning. It was sold for an incredible $46,000!
6. 1895 10C, MS67
Tied in 5th place is another 1895 Barber dime but this time with no mintmark (i.e. it was minted in Philadelphia). The 1895 Philadelphia Barber dime was minted in a relatively low number (690,000 coins) which makes is rare and expensive.
This particular 1895 MS67 Barber dime was described as a Superb gem with incredible preservation, satiny luster, and no signs of wear on the Liberty portrait. It sold for $46,000 at auction in 2005!
7. 1906 10C, MS65 (1909 Indian cent overstruck)
The final coin on our most valuable list today is the 1906 Barber dime which has an odd and intriguing double denomination error: it is a 1906 Barber dime with a 1909 Indian cent overstruck! Both dates are visible on the obverse and the coin is incredibly well-preserved, gaining MS65 grade.
There are only two of these remarkable error coins known to exist! Bold printed inscriptions and patterns, for example clear detail on the Indian portrait and the word “liberty”, make it an unusual specimen when it comes to double denomination errors. It was even ranked at Number 20 according to the authors in the “100 Greatest U.S. Error Coins Book”.
The amazing detail and fascinating mistake made with this coin earned it $42,593.75 at auction in 2013!