10 of the Rarest Dimes in Existence

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Coin collecting has been one of the most enduring hobbies in the world, especially in the United States. Dimes are some of the most widely collected American coins and many rare pieces exist. Like most rare coins in any denomination, the rarest dimes are proofs, errors, or the few remaining coins of low mintage runs. The dimes on this list are worth tens of thousands and even millions of dollars and remain and do not often go up for sale.

As of December 2020, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

  1. 1798 Large 8 Draped Bust Dime
  2. Estimated Number in Existence: 200
     Number Minted: 27,550
    Mint: Philadelphia
    Current Value: $82,250
    1798 Large 8 Draped Bust Dime
    photo source: PCGS


    Despite its name, the 1798 Large 8 Draped Bust Dime does not have a big number 8 in comparison to the other digits used on the coin. It received this name because dimes with smaller 8s were also struck in 1798. While the Small 8 coins are rarer, 1798 Large 8 Draped Bust Dimes are still hard to come by. There are about four in mint condition and 200 overall.

    Did You Know?

    The most valuable 1798 Large 8 Draped Bust Dime shows the cracks that later developed in the coin’s die.


  3. 1859 S Seated Liberty Dime
  4. Estimated Number in Existence: 200
     Number Minted: 60,000
    Mint: San Francisco
    Current Value: $100,000
    1859 S Seated Liberty Dime
    photo source: PCGS

    The 1859 S Seated Liberty Dime is fairly rare in any condition, with only about 200 or so examples left in existence. Along with the 1858 S Seated Liberty Dime, the 1859 S had a mintage of 60,000, which was the lowest for any dimes minted in the 1850s. The finest example of the 1859 S Seated Liberty Dime was sold at auction for $100,000.

    Did You Know?

    There are only two known 1859 S Seated Liberty Dimes in mint condition.


  5. 1874 CC Liberty Seated Dime with Arrows
  6. Estimated Number in Existence: less than 80
     Number Minted: 10,817
    Mint: Carson City
    Current Value: $162,150 (highest price paid at auction)
    1874 CC Liberty Seated Dime with Arrows
    photo source: PCGS

    The 1874 CC Liberty Seated Dime with Arrows is the rarest “with Arrows” dimes minted between 1874 – 1875. Only 10,817 of these dimes were produced and very few were saved by collectors. There are only about five 1874 CC Liberty Seated Dimes with Arrows in mint condition. The finest example of this rare dime was sold for $162,150.

    Did You Know?

    One 1874 CC Liberty Seated Dime with Arrows, the Norweb coin, was last put up for auction in 1989 and is reportedly in partially prooflike condition.


  7. 1798 Small 8 Draped Bust Dime
  8. Estimated Number in Existence: 50
     Number Minted: 27,550
    Mint: Philadelphia
    Current Value: $253,000 (highest price paid at auction)
    1798 Small 8 Draped Bust Dime
    photo source: Heritage Auctions

    The 1798 Small 8 Draped Bust Dime is the rarer of the two different Draped Bust Dimes produced that year. The Small 8 refers to the fact that the 8 in 1798 is slightly smaller than the other digits. It is only slightly smaller than the 8 used the Large 8 Draped Bust Dimes. Additionally the Small 8 Draped Bust Dime only has four berries, instead of five on the Large 8, on the branch in the eagle’s claw on the reverse side of the coin.

    Did You Know?

    The R in the word “Liberty” on both the 1978 Small 8 and Large 8 Draped Bust Dimes has a curved tail, while the R in the word “America” has a straight tail.


  9. 1916 D Full Band Mercury Dime
  10. Estimated Number in Existence: 24
     Number Minted: 264,000
    Mint: Denver
    Current Value: $207,000
    1916 D Full Band Mercury Dime
    photo source: Heritage Auctions

    1916 D Mercury Dimes with Full Bands are the most valuable Mercury Dimes ever minted. They are rare because only 264,000 of these dimes were minted in Denver. Production of the dimes was halted so a sudden request for quarters could be filled. There are only about 24 1916 Mercury Dimes with Full Bands in mint condition. In 2010, a 1916 D Full Band Mercury Dime was sold for $207,000.

    Did You Know?

    The 1916 D Mercury Dimes were the first to feature the new dime design created by Adolph A. Weinman.


  11. 1894 S Barber Dime
  12. Estimated Number in Existence: about 9
     Number Minted: 24
    Mint: San Francisco
    Current Value: $1,997,500
    1894 S Barber Dime
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons


    The 1894 S Barber Dime is considered the Holy Grail of dimes, but isn’t higher up on this list because there are quite a few of these coins out there. However it the 1894 S Barber Dime is the most valuable dime ever and is considered one of the “Big Three” of American numismatics, along with the 1913 Liberty nickel and the 1804 silver dollar.

    According to a widely circulated story, the 1894 S Barber Dime is rare because the San Francisco Mint Superintendent at the time, John Daggett, chose to only strike two dozen of these dimes for banker friends who heard there would be no dimes struck that year. However, no one knows for sure why so few Barber Dimes were struck in San Francisco in 1894, adding to the coin’s mystique. 1894 S Barber Dimes have always sold for top dollar, and its current value is nearly $2 million, the price paid at an auction in 2007.

    Did You Know?

    John Daggett gave his daughter three 1894 S Barber Dimes and told her to save them as they would be valuable in the future. However, she spent one of her dimes on the way home from the Mint to buy ice cream, but she saved the other two until she sold them in the 1950s.


  13. 1871 CC Seated Liberty Dime Mint Condition
  14. Estimated Number in Existence: 4
     Number Minted: 20,100
    Mint: Carson City
    Current Value: $270,250 (highest price paid at auction)
    1871 CC Seated Liberty Dime Mint Condition
    photo source: Heritage Auctions

    Only 20,100 1871 CC Seated Liberty Dimes were produced by the Carson City Mint and every coin went into circulation. This makes mint condition 1871 CC Seated Liberty Dimes incredibly rare. There are only about four of these coins in mint condition and the finest example ever known of the 1871 CC Seated Liberty Dime sold for $270,250 at auction. Overall, the 1871 CC Seated Liberty Dime is uncommon as there are only about 110 coins around in any condition.

    Did You Know?

    The highest graded 1871 CC Seated Liberty Dime is so beautiful and untarnished that it almost looks like a proof coin.


  15. 1872 CC Liberty Seated Dime Mint Condition
  16. Estimated Number in Existence: 3
     Number Minted: 35,480
    Mint: Carson City
    Current Value: $188,000 (highest price paid at auction)
    1872 CC Liberty Seated Dime Mint Condition
    photo source: auctions.stacksbowers.com

    While there are about 200 or so 1872 CC Liberty Seated Dimes in any condition still in existence, there are only three in mint condition. The mint condition dimes were struck before the reverse die developed a light crack through the CC mintmark. The Carson City Mint used the same reverse die for dimes minted between 1871 to 1874, and the crack can be seen on later coins.

    Did You Know?

    After it was opened in 1870, the Carson City Mint produced very few dimes in its early years. At 35,480 coins, the 1872 CC Liberty Seated Dime had the largest mintage of the period.


  17. 1975 No S Roosevelt Dime Proof
  18. Estimated Number in Existence: 2
     Number Minted: 2
    Mint: San Francisco
    Current Value: $456,000 (highest price ever paid at auction)
    1975 No S Roosevelt Dime Proof
    photo source: PCGS

    The 1975 No S Roosevelt Dime Proof is a rare mistake coin. Currently, there are only two known examples, which have been in the possession of a few owners since they were first discovered. The rare error was a result of the way proof dies were made after 1968, when the San Francisco Mint first began taking of striking proof coins from the Philadelphia Mint. The proof dies were prepared in Philadelphia, then sent to San Francisco where an “S” was added to the normal P-mint die. However, some dies were missed and error coins were struck. It is believed that the 1975 No S Roosevelt Dime Proofs were caught early and melted down, with a few later escaping the mint.

    Did You Know?

    The 1975 No S Roosevelt Dime Proofs initially belonged to a California collector who had ordered five proof sets from the U.S. Mint in 1975 and noticed that two of the sets had no mintmark.


  19. 1873 CC No Arrows Seated Liberty Dime
  20. Estimated Number in Existence: 1
     Number Minted: 12,400
    Mint: Carson City
    Current Value: $1,840,000 (highest price ever paid at auction)
    1873 CC No Arrows Seated Liberty Dime
    photo source: libertyseateddime.com


    There is only one known example of the 1873 CC No Arrows Seated Liberty Dime, making it the rarest dime in existence. Although the Carson City mint produced 12,400 of these dimes, they were supposedly all melted down when the weight standard for the coins was changed. However, a few of the dimes were saved for assay purposes (testing the coin to determine its ingredients and quality) and the one remaining 1873 CC No Arrows Seated Liberty Dime is reportedly from these few saved pieces.

    The last remaining 1873 CC No Arrows Seated Liberty Dime has always been valuable and sold for a lot. Most recently, it was sold for $1,840,000 at auction.

    Did You Know?

    The 1873 CC No Arrows Seated Liberty Dime first popped up in 1909 when crates of rare coins were traded for a pair of gold $50 patterns that were accidentally sold to future Secretary of the Treasury William Woodin.

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