If you’re still keeping coin jars in your house, then you might be sitting on more than just a few extra bucks. It’s easy to dump them into a machine to count out dollars for you, but taking the time to scan them might yield you a pretty penny – or dime.
Your spare change could be worth millions, but as you know, it’s all about the date and quality. Last year, a rare 1894-S Barber dime sold at a Tampa auction for $1.9 million dollars to an anonymous collector. Woo! The coin is so rare that is was called the “King of Dimes”.
Named after the designer Charles Barber, the dimes bear an “S” on the tail side to signify the mint where they were produced. In this case, it was San Francisco. Multiple stories surround the 1894-S coin, but one that’s gained some traction has to do with the superintendent of the mint.
John Daggett was head of the San Francisco Mint at the time, and had commissioned for twenty-four of the dimes to be minted for some visiting bankers. Three out of those twenty-four coin proofs were given to his daughter, Hallie. She turned around and did an ultimate kid move by buying ice cream with one, but held on to the other two.
In the 1950s, she sold them to a coin dealer. As treasures like these often come with more than one legend attached, some stories say only nine of the coins are accounted for today. Other stories have the number of 1894-S Barber dimes at a lower count. Any way you look at it, the dime is so rare that it can fetch between $1 and $2 million.
Charles Barber’s dime coin designs were minted from 1892-1916, but his other coinage included quarters and half dollars. All dimes featured “Lady Liberty” on the front, and today many of the single pieces are worth up to $4,000 or more.
To spot a rare 1894-S dime, simply look for the year and the San Francisco “S” on the back. If you don’t have one in your possession, you could still be holding a valuable coin or two. Some things to look out for are errors in spelling or design. Check out a few other big money coins:
- 1969-S Lincoln penny – the “heads” side looks double struck; can be worth up to $35,000 or more
- 2004 Wisconsin quarter – an error minted an extra leaf on the ear of corn’s lower left; worth up to $300
- 1999 Lincoln penny – the letters ‘a’ and ‘m’ in “America” are spread widely due to the a minting error; in great condition can be worth up to $600
- Silver dollars minted in 1964 or earlier are worth their weight in silver
Even if you’re not a serious coin collector, your pockets or sofa cushions could be the gatekeepers of something extraordinary. When in doubt, visit a professional who specializes in coinage or numismatic finds.
Are you an avid coin collector? Will you be checking your coin jar for rarities? What do you think of this auction amount?
If you’re on the lookout for more valuable coins, check out this rare penny that could be worth $85,000!