Rare Dimes: Tiny Treasures Worth Big Bucks


Rare Dimes

Dimes are often overlooked in the world of coins. They’re small, common, and usually only add up to a dollar when you have ten of them. But what if I told you that some dimes are worth more than a few dollars? In fact, some rare dimes have sold for over a million dollars! This article dives into the fascinating world of rare dimes, exploring why certain dimes are worth so much and how you might just find one in your pocket change.

Why Rare Dimes Are Worth So Much

The value of a dime, or any coin, can skyrocket for several reasons. Here are some key factors that make certain dimes worth a fortune:

  1. Age: Generally, the older the coin, the more valuable it is. Older dimes often have historical significance and were produced in smaller quantities, making them rarer and more desirable.
  2. Condition: Coins that have been well-preserved and show little wear and tear are more valuable. Collectors prize “mint condition” coins, which look almost as fresh as the day they were struck.
  3. Rarity: The fewer examples of a coin that exist, the more valuable it tends to be. Coins with low mintages or those that were discontinued quickly can be worth significantly more than their face value.
  4. Errors: Coins with minting errors, such as misprints or unusual defects, can be extremely valuable. These errors are often one-of-a-kind or very limited in number, making them highly sought after by collectors.

The Most Coveted Rare Dimes

There are several rare dimes that collectors dream of finding. Here are some of the most famous and valuable dimes in U.S. history:

1. 1894-S Barber Dime

The 1894-S Barber Dime is legendary among coin collectors. Only 24 were minted, and today, only a handful are known to exist. One of these dimes sold for nearly $2 million at auction. The story goes that the San Francisco Mint superintendent had these dimes struck as gifts for friends and to ensure his daughter’s financial future, making them both a rare and romantic piece of history.

2. 1916-D Mercury Dime

The 1916-D Mercury Dime is another highly sought-after coin. It was the first year the Mercury Dime was produced, and the Denver Mint only struck 264,000 of them. Because so few were made, this dime is incredibly rare. In excellent condition, a 1916-D Mercury Dime can fetch over $100,000.

3. 1804 Draped Bust Dime

The 1804 Draped Bust Dime is one of the earliest dimes in U.S. history. With its age and limited mintage, it’s no surprise that this coin is highly prized. Only a few examples are known to exist, and they can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Error Dimes: Mistakes Worth Millions

Sometimes, mistakes can be valuable. This is especially true for dimes with minting errors. These errors can occur for various reasons, such as misalignment, incorrect metals, or double strikes. Here are some famous error dimes:

1. 1968 No-S Roosevelt Dime

The 1968 No-S Roosevelt Dime is a proof coin, which means it was specially made for collectors. Proof coins usually have a mint mark indicating where they were made, but some 1968 dimes lack this mark. These error dimes are incredibly rare and can sell for thousands of dollars.

2. 1975 No-S Roosevelt Dime

Similar to the 1968 No-S Dime, the 1975 No-S Roosevelt Dime is another proof coin error. Very few of these dimes exist, and they can fetch high prices at auction. One example sold for over $350,000.

3. Double Die Dimes

Double die coins occur when the coin’s design is struck twice, resulting in a doubled image. These errors are highly sought after by collectors. Some notable double die dimes include the 1964-D Roosevelt Dime and the 1982 No-P Roosevelt Dime.

Modern Dimes Worth Watching

While older dimes tend to be more valuable, there are still some modern dimes that are worth looking out for. These coins can sometimes be found in circulation, so keep an eye on your pocket change. Here are a few modern dimes that could be worth more than their face value:

1. 1982 No-P Roosevelt Dime

The 1982 No-P Roosevelt Dime is one of the few modern dimes that is highly valuable. In 1982, some dimes were accidentally struck without the “P” mint mark that indicates they were made at the Philadelphia Mint. These dimes are rare and can be worth hundreds of dollars.

2. 1996-W Roosevelt Dime

In 1996, the West Point Mint produced a special dime to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Roosevelt Dime. These dimes have a “W” mint mark and were only included in special mint sets. While not as rare as some older coins, they can still be worth several times their face value.

How to Find Rare Dimes

You might be wondering how you can get your hands on one of these valuable dimes. While it’s unlikely you’ll find an 1894-S Barber Dime in your change, there are still ways to hunt for rare dimes:

  1. Check Your Change: Always examine your dimes when you receive change. Look for mint marks, errors, and unusual designs. You never know what you might find.
  2. Coin Rolls: Buy rolls of dimes from banks and sort through them. This is a popular method among coin hunters, and while it can be time-consuming, it can also be rewarding.
  3. Coin Shows and Auctions: Attend coin shows and auctions to learn more about rare dimes and potentially purchase some for your collection.
  4. Online Marketplaces: Websites like eBay and other coin trading platforms can be good places to find rare dimes. Be sure to buy from reputable sellers and verify the authenticity of the coins.

Caring for Your Rare Dimes

If you’re lucky enough to find a rare dime, it’s important to take good care of it. Here are some tips for preserving the value of your coins:

  1. Handle with Care: Always handle coins by the edges to avoid getting fingerprints or oils on the surface.
  2. Store Properly: Keep your coins in a cool, dry place. Use holders, albums, or cases specifically designed for coin storage to protect them from damage.
  3. Avoid Cleaning: Never clean your coins, as this can reduce their value. Even gentle cleaning can scratch the surface and diminish their worth.
  4. Get Graded: Consider having your rare dimes graded by a professional coin grading service. Graded coins are given a condition rating, which can increase their value and make them easier to sell.

The Joy of Collecting Rare Dimes

Collecting rare dimes can be a thrilling and rewarding hobby. Each coin has its own story, and finding a rare dime can feel like uncovering a piece of history. Here are some benefits of collecting rare dimes:

  1. Educational: Coin collecting teaches you about history, economics, and art. Each dime is a small piece of the past, and learning about them can be fascinating.
  2. Investment: Rare coins can be a good investment. While there’s no guarantee of making a profit, many rare dimes have increased in value over time.
  3. Community: Joining coin collecting clubs and attending shows can connect you with a community of like-minded enthusiasts. Sharing your finds and learning from others can enhance your collecting experience.
  4. Treasure Hunting: The thrill of the hunt is a big part of the appeal. Searching for rare dimes can be exciting, and finding one can be incredibly satisfying.

Famous Collections and Sales

The world of rare dimes has seen some impressive collections and high-profile sales. These examples highlight the potential value and excitement of rare dime collecting:

  1. Eliasberg Collection: Louis Eliasberg Sr. assembled one of the most famous coin collections in U.S. history, including many rare dimes. His collection was known for its completeness and high quality, and it set records when auctioned.
  2. Pogue Collection: The Pogue family’s coin collection is another legendary assemblage, featuring some of the rarest and most valuable U.S. coins, including dimes. Their collection fetched millions at auction.
  3. Stack’s Bowers and Heritage Auctions: These auction houses regularly handle the sale of rare coins, including dimes. Some of the most valuable dimes ever sold have passed through their auctions, highlighting the enduring interest in these small but significant pieces of currency.


Next time you receive a dime in your change, take a closer look. You might just be holding a tiny treasure worth far more than ten cents. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting, the world of rare dimes offers a fascinating journey into history, economics, and the thrill of discovery. So keep your eyes open, and who knows? You might just find that life-changing coin in the most unexpected place. Happy hunting!

Leave a Comment