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This rare dime just sold for nearly $2 million

To the untrained eye, this dime looks like any other. But this is not just any old dime.

This particular coin that went to auction Thursday night in Tampa sold for just under $2 million ($1,997,500).

The 1894-S Barber dime, which belonged to a private owner, was struck at the San Francisco Mint, according to CBS News. Since the country was in a recession during that time period, less than 25 of the coins went into circulation; the 1893 financial crisis crushed the demand for new coinage.

It’s likely that only nine still exist today.

Experts say that the dime is especially rare, but known, in the world of coin collecting, and it is in perfect condition. “It’s one of the more famous rare coins,” coin collector David Quint said, CBS reports.

Heritage Auctions said in a press release that the “1894-S Barber dime is a classic rarity in American coinage, often grouped with the 1804 dollar and the 1913 Liberty nickel as The Big Three of United States numismatic rarities.”

The 1894-S Barber dime--one of the rarest in the world. Photo: CNN Money
The 1894-S Barber dime–one of the rarest in the world. Photo: CNN Money

Many are wondering where the rest of those long-missing 1894-S dimes disappeared to. In order to track down some of the coins, Heritage Auctions is offering a $10,000 reward to be the first company to examine any genuine examples of the coins that went previously unreported.

“They could be in somebody’s desk drawer. They could be sitting in somebody’s bank box. People could look almost anywhere and they might show up,” said a senior numismatist at Heritage Auctions, Mark Borckardt.

Thursday’s buyer is choosing to stay anonymous, according to Heritage. The auction house is currently running a series of U.S. coin auctions from Jan. 6 to Jan. 11. This auction was held during the Florida United Numismatists show.

Many of the coins are priced in hundreds of dollars, instead of the thousands or millions of dollars the most recent buyer spent.

Historically, the 1894-S dime was not sold for the most money. A silver dollar from 1794 holds the record; it sold for $10,016,875 in 2013, according to coin auctioneer Stack’s Bowers Galleries in Irvine, Calif.

About Meredith Rodefer

Meredith Rodefer is a freelance writer, who focuses on anything from lifestyle blogging to hard news, and dancer. Beyond Youth Independent, she has written for sites such as, and Contact Meredith: [email protected]