Two rare dimes worth $2 million dollars each are still in circulation

January 19, 2024

Coin collecting is a passionate hobby shared by many. From early American gold coins to silver memories trapped in time capsules, the variety is endless. The values are deeply diverse too: Ranging from only twice their face value to in the millions, historic coins can be worth a penny or a pittance.

But beware: Some coins lounging in your piggy bank or at the bottom of your car’s cupholders might just be the holy grail of numismatics. One of the treasures to look out for is the 1894-S Barber Dime—an extremely limited, rare mint run of which only two are believed to still be in general circulation, reports My Modern Met.

Barber dimes—named after the sixth chief engraver of the United States Mint (from 1879 until his death in 1917), Charles E. Barber—were regularly minted from 1892 to 1916.

However, something unique occurred in 1894. The San Francisco Mint created only 24 of these dimes. They may have been created as novelty gifts for financial types associated with the mint, or possibly to equal out a deficit at the mint by a small amount. It is also possible they were testing the dies that stamp the coins.

Of the 24 minted, John Daggett—who ran the mint—gave three dimes to his young daughter Hallie. He instructed the child to keep them for their future worth, and she kept two. However, she spent one on ice cream almost immediately.

Today, many of the 24 are no longer extant. Like other coins of their era, they may have been melted down for the metals they contained as those became more valuable than the coins themselves. Today, only nine 1894-S Barber Dimes are believed to remain. The whereabouts of two of those are as of yet unknown.

They may be sitting in a private cache in some unknowing individual’s house, or perhaps lost to the dirt. The remaining seven are in collector’s hands. However, anyone with a jar of old coins should count their dimes and see if they’ve got one of the missing minted treasures. If you find one, it is likely worth about two million dollars in collector’s circles.

Instead, you might also discover you own slightly less scintillating, but still impressively valuable coins. Check out this list of the most valuable historic dimes to see if any match the coins in your collection, or your purse.

Research contact: @mymodernmet