Value of Barber Dimes

Value of Barber Dimes

When the barber coinage was first released into circulation in 1892, it was met with much criticism and dislike. People of the day called the new Barber Dimes un-artistic and a meager representation of what American coinage stood for. I suppose all the barber Dimes needed was time. One hundred nineteen years later, Barber Dimes have gained the public’s approval and demand. With silver prices now at their highest, Barber dimes have also gained much interest in the eyes of investors as well. A true love hate kind of coin. Covered in this article are the history, melt values and surprisingly high numismatic value of Barber Dimes.

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1901 Barber Dime Obverse Toned. Photo Courtesy: coinpage.com
1901 Barber Dime Obverse Toned. Photo Courtesy: coinpage.com

History of the Barber Dime:

  • As a replacement for the Seated Liberty Dime, the Barber Dime was released for circulation in 1892. The Barber Dime received its name from the designer of the coinage, Charles E. Barber. The silver dime featured a portrait of Liberty on the obverse and a wreath featuring the words ‘ONE DIME’ on the reverse. The same reverse can be found on the preceding Seated Liberty Dimes.
  • In its inaugural year, the Barber Dime was met with ill feedback. Barber Dimes, along with the rest of the Barber Coinage, received bad press coverage from newspapers questioning the integrity of the new designs. Due to the mixed reactions, Barber Dimes were seldom saved as collector coins.
  • The Barber Dime was minted yearly for twenty five years from 1892-1916. In 1916, the Barber Dime ceased production in favor for the new Mercury Dime. During its mintage, the Barber Dime was minted at the Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver and New Orleans mints.
  • Although unpopular at the time, the Barber Dime is now a highly sought after US coin. With many years with mintages of less than a million, the silver Barber Dime offers great value for those lucky enough to have one of these in their collection.

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Composition and Melt Value of Barber Dimes:

  • Weight – 2.5 Grams
  • Metal Composition – 90% Silver, 10% Copper
  • Melt Value – $2.95

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Barber Dime Reverse. Slightly Toned. Mintmark is below wreath. Photo Courtesy: coinpage.com
Barber Dime Reverse. Slightly Toned. Mintmark is below wreath. Photo Courtesy: coinpage.com

Value of Barber Dimes:

It was a misfortune that the silver Barber Dime had an ill inception as a US coin, but it really paid off for future generations. Coin collectors today should be thankful for the terrible media coverage and overall disregard for the Barber Dime. Combined with some low mintage numbers and very few Barber dimes being saved, this collection has great value potential. If you have a few of these sitting around, you sure won't be disappointed with their values. Observed below is a list of Key and Semi Key dates along with their current values:

Good News:

Coin collectors will be happy to hear that even common dates with low grades are still worth 25 times their face value. Higher grading coins will pull in substantially higher values. If you’re unsure about the condition of your coin, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the Coin Grading Scale.

Key Date Barber Dimes:

  • 1892S – Valued at $65-800
  • 1894O – Valued at $70-2,000+
  • 1895 – Valued at $90-1,300
  • 1895O – Valued at $375-8,000
  • 1896O – Valued at $80-2,200
  • 1896S – Valued at $95-1,500
  • 1897O – Valued at $70-1,500+
  • 1901S – Valued at $80-1,500+
  • 1903S – Valued at $85-1,500+

Semi Key Date Barber Dimes:

  • 1893O – Valued at $35-600
  • 1894 – Valued at $30-500
  • 1895S – Valued at $45-1,000+
  • 1904S – Valued at $45-1,250+

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The once hated Barber Dime, could now possibly be America's gem. These unique coins make for a great collection for both eye appeal and investment. I appreciate you taking the time to read my article on the value of Barber Dimes. If you're still interested in more American coinage, please gander through my other articles below.

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Comments 2 comments

ThePelton profile image

ThePelton 5 years ago from Martinsburg, WV USA

Common newsprint paper is made up of woodchips soaked in Sulphuric Acid, and many of those heavy cardboard folders are made up of recycled newspaper. This can cause toning, as the sulphur will react to the silver, and color it. Don't try to clean it off, you will only damage the coin and it's collecting value.


Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 5 years ago from Colorado Author

Most definitely Pelton. Anyone looking to collect coins should always know not to clean their coins. It kills me to see some really nice coins get the Coke or Pepsi treatment! Just because it is shiny doesn't mean that its worth more.

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