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1894-S Dime Sells for Over $1.3 Million

The Legendary 1894-S Barber dime is one of just 24 coins struck. Only nine examples are currently known.

The Legendary 1894-S Barber dime is one of just 24 coins struck.Only nine examples are currently known.

Numismatic history was made in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction at the 2019 ANA World’s Fair of Money, where an example of the legendary 1894-S Barber dime sold for over $1.3 million in lot 5178. Certified Branch Mint Proof-63 by PCGS and verified by CAC, this coin is one of just nine confirmed survivors from an original mintage of only 24 pieces.

The 1894-S Barber dime is among the most legendary rarities in all of United States numismatics. It has been well studied and publicized over the past century, since it was first noted in an article in the August 25, 1895 edition of The San Francisco Call. By the turn of the 20th century, its fame had grown through publicity surrounding major auction appearances and discussion in hobby publications. Today it remains among the most coveted United States coins, ranking as number six in the reference 100 Greatest U.S. Coins by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth (4th Edition, 2014). The appearance of an example in any grade is a significant event.

This offering of an 1894-S Barber dime in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries ANA sale represents the first time an example has appeared at auction in over three years, and the first offering by the firm in nearly 12 years. This particular coin was sold by Stack's in January 1953 as part of the F.S. Guggenheimer Collection. It eventually found its way to the collection of Los Angeles sports magnate Jerry Buss, whose name would become inseparable from this specimen.

It was presented in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries ANA sale as part of the Horatio E. Morgan Collection, an incredible cabinet of rarities assembled primarily in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Additional rarities from this collection sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in their ANA auction included an MS-65 (PCGS) 1876-CC twenty-cent piece that earned $456,000 in lot 5182, and 110 different pattern coins from the United States Mint.

Further selections from the E. Horatio Morgan Collection will be featured in the firm’s November 2019 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo and other future sales. Upcoming sales will offer a comprehensive set of dimes from the cabinet that begins with the earliest issues, as well as a nearly-complete set of early half dollars by Overton variety.

For more information on this MS-63 (PCGS) CAC 1894-S Barber dime or other highlights of the E. Horatio Morgan Collection, please contact Stack's Bowers Galleries at 800-458-4646 or visit