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Finest known 1894-S dime in Heritage sale

An 1894-S Barber dime will go on the auction block during Heritage Auctions Florida United Numismatists Signature Sale Jan. 6-11, 2016, in Tampa.

The finest known 1894-S Barber dime will be featured in the Florida United Numismatists auction.

The finest known 1894-S Barber dime will be featured in the Florida United Numismatists auction.

With a mintage of 24 pieces and just nine survivors known, this is the first example to be auctioned since 2007, Heritage said.

How many millions of dollars it will realize will be determined by the state of the market as well as the fact that this is the finest known example.

Professional Coin Grading Service has graded it Proof-66 and Certified Acceptance Corporation has put its sticker on it.

Heritage catalogers note that the exampled that sold in 2007 was graded PR64 (now PR64+) by PCGS and sold as lot 4291 in Stack’s 72nd Anniversary Sale, bringing $1,552,500.

Another sold privately in 2013 with a reported sales price of over $2 million.

Are $3 million or $4 million within reach? If a good story has anything to do with it, a higher price would be in the offing.

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This example, which has only be auctioned publicly four times in 122 years, “traces its history back almost to its time of issue and has been a highlight of some of the most fabulous coin collections of all time along the way. Famous collectors like John M. Clapp, Louis Eliasberg and James A. Stack have taken great pride in their ownership of this coin,” Heritage said.

The catalogers said the reason for the low mintage of 24 has long been the subject of speculation.

However, “a contemporary account by the official who probably ordered the striking of the 1894-S dimes is the most authoritative explanation for the origin of these coins that has ever come to light. It was simply necessary to strike the coins to balance the accounts before the fiscal year ended on June 30, and Mint personnel had no thought of creating a rarity at the time the coins were struck.”

Catalogers pointed out that “generations of collectors have smiled at the notion of Superintendent John Daggett’s young daughter, Hallie, spending one of these dimes for ice cream on her way home from the Mint. Even though recent research indicates this anecdote is fanciful, it has lost none of its charm.”

For more information, visit HA.com.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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