Believe it or not, the most valuable dimes you can find on the current coin market are worth millions of dollars. Some rare pieces were paid for almost two million bucks each, but many others reached hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The difference between pieces worth millions and a few cents is in details, condition, rarity, and errors. For instance, you can expect that the first dimes the US Mint produced in the 18th century before the Mint building existed are pricey nowadays. Let’s take a look.
Most Valuable Dimes
The US Mint has produced a few dime types in its history, including:
- Disme (Bust Half dime) produced in 1792
- Draped bust dime produced from 1796 to 1807
- Capped bust dime produced from 1809 to 1837
- Liberty seated dime produced from 1837 to 1891
- Barber dime produced from 1892 to 1916
- Mercury (Winged Liberty Head) dime produced from 1916 to 1945
- Roosevelt dime produced from 1946 to present
There is no way to generally estimate their value, with some costing as little as a dollar or two, while unique coins can fetch millions of dollars at auctions.
The most valuable Dimes by PCGS
|Lots found||Year||Auction record|
|Disme (Bust half dime)|
|?||1792 MS 68||$1,145,625|
|Type 1 (small eagle) Draped bust dime|
|863||1796 MS 67||$881,250|
|128||1797 13 stars MS 65||$402,500|
|Type 2 (heraldic eagle) Draped bust dime|
|85||1804 14 stars AU 58 CAC||$632,500|
|230||1800 MS 66||$352,500|
|237||1803 MS 64||$322,000|
|62||1798 MS 66 with small 8||$253,000|
|Type 1 (large dentils) Capped bust dime|
|276||1820 Small 0 MS 67||$152,750|
|Type 1 (large dentils) Capped bust dime proof|
|1||1822 PR 66 CAM||$440,625|
|13||1820 PR 66||$156,000|
|11||1827 PR 67||$120,750|
|11||1894 S PR 66 BM||$1,997,500|
|Type 3 (stars obverse) Liberty seated dime|
|172||1845 O MS 69||$161,000|
|160||1843 O MS 66||$141,000|
|Type 5 (legend obverse) Liberty seated dime|
|5||1873 CC MS 65 no arrows||$1,840,000|
|203||1872 CC MS 63||$480,000|
|158||1871 CC MS 65||$270,250|
|Type 6 (legend obverse) Liberty seated dime arrows at the date|
|251||1873 CC MS 65 with arrows||$552,000|
|140||1874 CC MS 63 with arrows||$264,000|
|988||1938 S MS 68+ FB||$364,250|
|588||1931 S MS 67+ FB||$270,250|
|5126||1916 D MS 67||$207,000|
|5||1975 No S PR 68||$456,000|
1. 1894 S PR 66 BM Barber dime
This expensive coin is one of 24 early silver dimes the San Francisco mint struck in 1894 by Charles E. Barber design. This piece with a reeded edge weighs 0.08038 troy ounces (2.50 g) and has a diameter of 0.70472 inches (17.90 mm).
Since only nine specimens still exist, this dime is considered one of the rarest and most pricey US coinage ever produced, so you shouldn’t be surprised by its price of $1,997,500. One collector paid so much for this beauty at Heritage Auctions in 2016.
Beautifully designed Liberty seated dimes with reeded edges have a diameter of 0.70472 inches (17.90 mm) and weigh 0.07973 troy ounces (2.48 g).
The Carson City mint produced 12,400 coins without arrows this year, but they were melted almost immediately. However, it is confirmed that only one such specimen survived, and it still exists.
Its condition, beauty, and unique status were enough for one collector to set aside $1,840,000 and purchase it at Stack’s Bowers auction in 2012.
No one knows who designed these 1,500 dimes struck in Philadelphia in 1792 on only a single set of dies. These coins, made of silver and copper in an 89.2%: 10.8% ratio, weigh 0.04340 troy ounces (1.35 g), while their diameter is 0.68898 inches (17.50 mm)
Experts estimate that only 250 have survived to this day. The finest certified, beautifully toned 1792 Half Disme was sold in 2013 for an astonishing $1,145,625. It is known that only one piece in MS 68 condition still exists.
The Philadelphia mint produced 22,135 Draped bust dimes with a small eagle on the reverse in 1796, only four years after the mint started working. The prices for about 1,000 survived ones range from $2,487 to $45,550, depending on the condition.
However, one collector bought the specimen in top-notch grade for $881,250 at Heritage Auctions in 2014. That makes this coin with extremely sharp details one of the most valuable coins in the dime series.
Since you can’t see imperfections from the planchet, experts usually classify it as a Specimen Strike.
The Philadelphia mint struck 8,265 silver Draped bust dimes after Robert Scot’s design. Interestingly, they came in two versions, with 13 and 14 stars above a heraldic eagle on the reverse. It is estimated that 20 coins with 14 stars and 75 ones with 13 stars still exist.
Both types come with reeded edges, have a diameter of 0.77953 inches (19.80 mm), and weigh 0.08681 troy ounces (2.70 g). Most are worth $2,523 to $96,512 on the current market, but one well-preserved piece reached an auction record. One collector paid $632,500 for it in 2008 at an auction.
You can find that most Liberty seated dimes of 18,791 struck in Carson City in 1873 are worth $3,080 to $72,443 nowadays. Their prices significantly vary depending on the condition and type.
Unlike the 1873 CC MS 65 Liberty seated dime without arrows, sold for $1,840,000 at an auction, a similar coin with arrows reached a far less price. However, it is still more expensive than other pieces and was paid $552,000 at Heritage Auctions in 2022.
Remember that the mint produced coins with and without pointed arrows on the date’s each side. Their absence means a slightly reduced dime weight. Those with arrows are equal in diameter but are heavier, and their weight is 0.08038 troy ounces (2.50 g).
The Carson City mint produced 35,480 silver Liberty seated dimes in 1872. You should set aside only $481 for a piece in good condition, but highly graded coins typically cost $119,850.
However, this particular piece won an auction record after one collector paid $480,000 for it at an auction in 2022. The reason was its beautiful tone, smooth surfaces, satin texture, fantastic preservation, and grade level. In fact, this dime is the only one from the same mintage existing in the mint state.
Even though most proofs were struck in Philadelphia, this year was an exception. These dimes came from the San Francisco mint. The original owner purchased five 1975 Roosevelt dime proof sets and discovered that two came without the S mint mark.
Even though most of the 2,845,450 proofs produced in the San Francisco mint that year are worth only about $2.81, these two coins are entirely different. One of them reached an astonishing price of $456,000 at Heritage Auctions in 2019, although it is not made of precious metal but is composed of copper and nickel.
Most Capped bust dime proofs produced in the Philadelphia mint in 1822 are currently worth $1,317 to $28,651. These coins weighing 0.08681 troy ounces (2.70 g) have a diameter of 0.74803 inches (19 mm) and contain a high silver content of 89.2% with added 10.8% copper.
Experts estimate that you can find only two to five examples of CAM Capped bust dime proofs minted this year. One of them, featuring full strike, brilliant iridescent toning, and fine details, was sold for $440,625 at Heritage Auctions in 2014.
Robert Scot designed Draped bust dime with a small eagle and 13 stars on the reverse. The Philadelphia mint produced 25,261 regular strike pieces in 1797 made of 89.2% silver and added copper.
However, no one knows how many pieces contained thirteen or more stars. You can buy one of the surviving pieces for $3,162 to $89,808, but the most valuable coin with 13 stars reached the price of $402,500 at an auction in 2008.
Adolph Alexander Weinman designed silver Mercury dimes in 1916 as coins weighing 0.08038 troy ounces (2.50 g) and 0.70472 inches (17.90 mm) in diameter.
Any of those produced in the San Francisco mint in 1938 is pretty inexpensive, thanks to a high mintage of 8,090,000 pieces. Therefore, you can get one for a modest $1.78 to $45.
However, one collector was prepared to pay an impressive $364,250 for a well-preserved and highly-graded dime in pristine condition at a Legend’s auction in 2019. It is worth that money since finding a finer example of this dime is impossible.
Robert Scot designed this beautiful coin in 1796, and the Philadelphia mint struck 21,760 silver pieces at the turn of two centuries. Their regular price ranges from $847 to $46,012, but some specimens in the mint state can be worth much more.
For instance, one perfectly preserved dime with a heraldic eagle on the reverse reached an unbelievable price of $352,500 at Heritage Auctions in 2014. Experts estimate that less than a hundred pieces still exist in private collections.
Designer Robert Scot created lovely Draped bust dimes at the end of the 18th century. Draped Bust dimes with a heraldic eagle on the reverse belong to the shortest series in the US coinage, so they are always pricey and cost about $909 to $72,416 depending on condition.
In 1803, the Philadelphia came with a mintage of 33,040 dimes, but only rare pieces survive in such a high grade 200 years after minting. This finest known 1803 Draped bust dime won the auction record in 2008 after one collector bought it for an astonishing $322,000.
The Carson City mint produced only 20,100 Liberty seated dimes in 1871, making it one of the rarest pieces on the coin market nowadays. The most expensive specimen minted this year reached $270,250 at Heritage Auctions in 2014.
This price was achieved thanks to well-preserved design features, lovely iridescent pinkish-silver tone, and a strong strike providing a sharp edges definition. Experts believe it is probably the only one with MS 65 grade worldwide.
Adolph Alexander Weinman did an excellent job with this beautiful silver coin design. Unfortunately, only one 1931 MS 67+ FB Mercury dime still exists, as the finest piece of 1,800,000 produced in the San Francisco mint.
Therefore, this coin with Full Bands reached a price of $270,250 at an auction in 2019. This condition rarity comes with an impressive strike, silky smooth surfaces, and appealing mint frosty. Other pieces in lower grades typically cost $3.94 to $343, depending on the condition.
Experts suggest that only six Liberty seated dimes produced in 1874 still exist in the mint state. The mint in Carson City produced 10,817 of these silver coins, but most have been lost or worn out over the years.
One collector paid $264,000 at Heritage Auctions in 2021 to get the privilege to add this key rarity with arrows to their collection. Even the lower graded pieces struck this year are expensive, and you should pay approximately $5,126 to $72,443 per coin.
The Philadelphia mint produced 27,550 Draped bust dimes in 1798 after the Robert Scot design. These silver coins are rare and expensive nowadays, and you can buy one for $909 to $45,550, depending on the condition.
However, some error pieces can be even more pricey. For instance, the 1798 Draped Bust dime with heraldic eagle reverse sometimes comes with a variety containing a small 8 in the date.
It also features four berries on the branch the eagle holds in its claw. One coin in MS 66 grade won an auction in 2008 after one collector paid $253,000 for it.
The US Mint struck the first dimes in 1796. Their design has changed over time, but they are still present on the market, while most pieces are popular among collectors. Some coins are worth millions, depending on their rarity, condition, possible errors, and uniqueness.