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10 Most Expensive Dimes: Unveiling Rare and Valuable Coins

Dimes hold a special place in the world of coin collecting due to their diverse designs and historical significance. Over the years, certain dimes have become increasingly valuable due to factors such as rarity, mintage numbers, and condition. An article detailing the 10 most expensive dimes will delve into the fascinating stories behind these treasured coins, revealing the reasons for their high value.

Collectors constantly seek to expand their collections with rare and valuable coins, and dimes are no exception. With the variety of dimes produced by the United States Mint throughout history, it is no surprise that some have become strikingly valuable. From the early "Draped Bust" dimes to the more recent "Roosevelt" dimes, this article will explore the top 10 most expensive dimes and what makes them so intriguing and desirable to collectors.

History and Origin of Dimes

Draped Bust Dimes

The Draped Bust dimes were first introduced in the early 19th century by the United States Mint. These coins featured a portrait of Lady Liberty with flowing hair and a draped gown. Many numismatists, such as coin collectors specializing in U.S. coins, believe that the earliest 13-star dimes were struck in 1804, making them a favorite piece for many collectors.

Seated Liberty Dimes

Seated Liberty dimes came into circulation in 1837 and were minted until 1891. These coins showcase Lady Liberty in a seated position and holding a shield. One of the most valuable Seated Liberty dimes is the 1860-O Seated Liberty Dime, which had the lowest mintage of any New Orleans dime, with just 40,000 coins produced.

Barber Dimes

Barber dimes, named after their designer Charles E. Barber, were minted from 1892 until 1916. These dimes display a more masculine representation of Lady Liberty, featuring her face surrounded by a cap and laurel wreath. Barber dimes are appreciated for their simplistic design and historical significance.

Mercury Dimes

Mercury dimes, also known as Winged Liberty Head Dimes, were introduced in 1916 and circulated until 1945. The coin's design features a depiction of Lady Liberty with a winged cap, symbolizing freedom of thought. One of the most valuable Mercury dimes, is the 1916 D Mercury Dime valued at $41,000.

Roosevelt Dimes

Roosevelt dimes were first minted in 1946 to honor the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt. These dimes showcase a portrait of the president on the obverse and a torch, olive branch, and oak branch on the reverse, representing liberty, peace, and strength. Roosevelt dimes are still in circulation today, making them a staple of the United States coinage system.

Overall, the history of American dimes has been shaped by the United States Mint and reflects the principles and values of the nation. Each type of dime—Draped Bust, Seated Liberty, Barber, Mercury, and Roosevelt—offers unique designs, stories, and values for collectors and history enthusiasts alike.

Understanding the Value of Dimes

Impact of Mintage on Value

When it comes to determining the worth of dimes, mintage plays a crucial role. Numismatists and coin collectors often seek out dimes with low mintage numbers, as these coins are rarer and often more valuable. Typically, coins with fewer minted examples generate higher demand, and in turn, higher value. For example, the 1916-D Mercury dime is considered one of the most valuable dimes due to its low mintage of only 264,000.

Role of Rarity

Rarity also plays an essential part in the value of a dime. Collectors will often pay a premium for rare dimes, as they are more challenging to find and acquire. Generally, dimes from earlier years, such as the Draped Bust and Capped Bust series, are considered rarer and more valuable compared to dimes from more recent years like Roosevelt dimes. For instance, the 1871-CC Liberty Seated dime is highly sought after due to its rarity, with a value of around $270,250.

Significance of Mint Mark

Mint marks also significantly influence a dime's value. These marks indicate the United States Mint facility where a coin was produced. Some mint marks are considered more valuable than others due to their lower production numbers or historical significance. For example, the "D" mint mark, representing the Denver Mint, is found on the 1916-D Mercury dime. This mint mark, coupled with the coin's low mintage, makes it one of the most valuable dimes.

Effect of Year and Condition

The year a dime was minted and its condition are additional factors that influence its value. Older dimes in better condition typically hold more value compared to dimes in lesser condition. Coin collectors and investors often seek out dimes in uncirculated or mint state conditions, as these hold the highest value. For example, a 1921 Mercury dime in mint state condition can be worth over $50.

In conclusion, the value of dimes depends on various factors, including mintage, rarity, mint mark, year, and condition. Understanding these factors helps collectors and investors better assess the worth and potential appreciation of their coin collections.

Top 10 Most Valuable Dimes

1796 Draped Bust Dime

The 1796 Draped Bust Dime is one of the first dimes minted by the United States and highly sought after by collectors. It features a portrait of Lady Liberty with flowing hair and a draped bust, giving it its name.

1804 Draped Bust Dime

Another valuable dime from the Draped Bust series is the 1804 Draped Bust Dime. It shares a similar design with the 1796 version and is highly collectible due to its rarity and historical significance.

1894-S Barber Dime

The 1894-S Barber Dime is one of the rarest and most highly prized dimes, with only 24 pieces made. It was minted in San Francisco and features the classic design by Charles E. Barber, which includes Lady Liberty wearing a Liberty cap.

1916-D Mercury Dime

The 1916-D Mercury Dime is another cherished dime, minted only in Denver and featuring the iconic image of Lady Liberty wearing a winged cap. Its rarity and exquisite design make it a top choice for collectors.

1872-CC Liberty Seated Dime

The 1872-CC Liberty Seated Dime is a rare coin minted in Carson City, Nevada. Its design displays Lady Liberty sitting on a rock with the U.S. shield by her side. Collectors value it for its scarcity and historical connection to the Old West.

1873-CC Liberty Seated Dime

Similar to the 1872-CC version, the 1873-CC Liberty Seated Dime is another key coin from the Carson City Mint. Both are highly collectible and considered among the most valuable dimes in existence.

1921 Mercury Dime

The 1921 Mercury Dime is a low-mintage coin that shares the same design as the 1916-D Mercury Dime. Its scarcity makes it an attractive addition to a numismatic collection.

1975 No-S Roosevelt Dime

The 1975 No-S Roosevelt Dime is an error coin with no mintmark, creating an intriguing rarity for collectors. It features a familiar Roosevelt Dime design but is distinguishable by its lack of the "S" mintmark.

1996-W Roosevelt Dime

Issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Roosevelt Dime, the 1996-W Roosevelt Dime features a "W" mintmark from West Point Mint. Its limited production makes it an esteemed and valuable addition to any dime collection.

1968 No-S Roosevelt Dime

Another rare error coin, the 1968 No-S Roosevelt Dime, is missing the "S" mintmark while retaining all other features of a standard Roosevelt Dime. This rarity is highly valued by collectors.

Evaluating and Investing in Valuable Dimes

Role of Media and Numismatic Community

The value of dimes can significantly vary depending on factors such as mintage, rarity, condition, and demand. In order to successfully evaluate and invest in valuable dimes, it's important to consider the role of media and the numismatic community. Both play a crucial role in spreading awareness, sharing information, and influencing the perception of value among coin enthusiasts and collectors.

Media outlets often report on exceptional coins, further sparking interest and creating a buzz within the numismatic community. This, in turn, can lead to increased demand for specific coins, driving up their value. For instance, an unusually scarce dime may be featured in a reputable numismatic magazine, resulting in heightened awareness among collectors.

Conversely, numismatists and coin collectors often rely on media resources and the expertise of fellow enthusiasts to acquire knowledge, stay well-informed, and make educated decisions when investing in valuable coins.

Value of Originality in Dimes

Originality is another critical aspect that can significantly impact the value of dimes. Collectors often prefer coins that exhibit their original state, without any detectable signs of cleaning, modification, or alteration. Coins that possess original surfaces, toning, and luster are generally more valuable and tend to command higher prices among investors and enthusiasts.

The appeal of originality can mainly be attributed to the historical significance and authenticity that these coins represent. A dime that has escaped the passage of time untouched is a rarity, and collectors attribute an additional premium to such pieces.

When investing in valuable dimes, it is essential for collectors to closely examine any potential acquisitions for signs of tampering or preservation efforts, as these can significantly affect both the value and desirability of the dimes in question.

In summary, the evaluation and investment process for valuable dimes involves carefully considering factors such as media influence, numismatic community insights, and the originality of the coins. By staying informed, building connections with fellow enthusiasts, and seeking out authentically original pieces, investors can make informed decisions when adding valuable dimes to their collections.

Key Takeaways for Collectors and Numismatists

When it comes to the world of coin collecting, the most valuable dimes have always been a sought-after prize for collectors and numismatists alike. Understanding the factors that contribute to a dime's worth can help both coin enthusiasts and serious collectors make informed decisions about acquiring and preserving their rare coin collections.

In this era of booming interest in numismatics, it is essential for collectors and numismatists to leverage all available resources to stay ahead. Trusted sources like and PCGS provide valuable information about dimes, including their rarity, history, and market values.

Some of the factors that contribute to the value of a dime include rarity, historical significance, design, and condition. For example, the 1873-CC Liberty Seated Dime (No Arrows) stands out as the most expensive dime, fetching a staggering $3.6 million. It possesses a unique combination of rarity and historical significance. Similarly, the 1894-S Barber Dime holds the second most valuable spot at $1.997 million, partly due to its incredibly low mintage.

To help collectors and numismatists better understand the values of these rare dimes, here is a quick rundown of the top five most valuable dimes:

  1. 1873-CC Liberty Seated Dime (No Arrows) - $3.6 million
  2. 1894-S Barber Dime - $1.997 million
  3. 1796 Draped Bust Dime - $881,250
  4. 1804 Draped Bust Dime (14-star reverse) - $632,500
  5. 1873-CC Arrows Liberty Seated Dime - $552,000

Keeping track of the fluctuating market values is crucial for coin collectors or numismatists looking to invest in rare dimes. Using websites like and PCGS can provide insights into the current prices and trends, making it easier for collectors to make wise investments.

Moreover, collectors must also take steps to protect their rare and valuable dimes properly. Storing coins in a safe and climate-controlled environment, using appropriate methods such as acid-free coin flips or holders, and seeking professional grading services will ensure the longevity of the coins and their value.

Users who are new to the world of numismatics can find a supportive community amongst fellow coin enthusiasts and resources to help them navigate this fascinating hobby. Many online forums, clubs, and organizations cater to collectors with all levels of experience. By staying informed, utilizing resources, and understanding the factors that impact a dime's value, collectors and numismatists can continue to treasure, appreciate, and invest in the captivating world of rare dimes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What years produced the highest valued dimes?

Some of the most valuable dimes were minted between the late 1700s and the mid-1900s, with the 1797 Draped Bust Dime and the 1916-D Mercury Dime being particularly prized by collectors. The years in which these rare and valuable dimes were produced can vary depending on the series.

Which mint marks are seen on valuable dimes?

Mint marks can play a significant role in the rarity and value of a dime. For example, the 1916-D Mercury Dime is particularly valuable due to its low mintage from the Denver Mint. Generally, dimes minted in San Francisco or Denver may hold more value than ones from the Philadelphia or New Orleans mints, due to lower production numbers.

How do I identify rare dimes in my collection?

To identify rare dimes in a collection, it is important to consider the year, mint mark, and condition of the coin. Check for known key dates and mint marks, and visit reputable references or consult with a coin expert to help evaluate the potential value of a specific dime.

What factors affect the value of a dime?

The value of a dime is influenced by several factors, including the rarity, demand, and condition of the coin. Other considerations include the precious metal content, historical significance, and any potential errors or unusual varieties that may add to the coin's appeal for collectors.

Which dime series are the most valuable?

Several dime series hold high value for collectors, most notably the Draped Bust Dimes, Capped Bust Dimes, Seated Liberty Dimes, Barber Dimes, and Mercury Dimes. Each of these series has unique features and designs, creating interest among numismatists and increasing their overall value.

How much are top-grade, uncirculated dimes worth?

The value of top-grade, uncirculated dimes can widely vary, with some examples fetching prices in the hundreds of thousands of dollars at auctions. However, the exact value depends on many factors, such as the specific date, mint mark, and overall rarity of the dime in question. Consulting reference guides or coin professionals can provide a better understanding of a particular dime's value.

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Andrew Gosselin CPA

Written by Andrew Gosselin CPA

Andrew Gosselin, CPA is a former senior strategy consultant for a global, multi-billion-dollar software company. He is the Senior Contributor / Editor at MoneyInc, and he holds degrees in accounting, finance, and international business from Bentley University, where he played varsity basketball and was the Lead Tutor of the accounting and finance curriculum for the Bentley Athletic Department. Andrew was named a President's Academic Scholar and was inducted into the Falcon Society, a distinction awarded by the Bentley faculty and his peers for being among those with the highest achievement and abilities in his graduating class.

Read more posts by Andrew Gosselin CPA

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