Finding Rare Dimes

Let's discover the rare dimes in your box of old coins. The popularity of coin collecting today and demand from collectors has moved the value of these old coins to new highs.

Rare Dimes

Whole series of dimes, normally scarce, are becoming increasingly rare to find as most are quickly going into collections. Identify one of these avidly sought coins and you have a nice little treasure.

Additionally a large number of rare dates, mintmark and date combinations and scarce varieties, are found through out all of US dime production including the current modern Roosevelt dime.

Other subtle differences in your coins such as its state of preservation often separates common and valuable rare dimes.

High grade coins with minimal to no wear are in the greatest demand and condition is often the deciding factor between a $1.56 silver dime and a $300 rare dime. Note: Values have been updated to reflect the 2014 market.

Historically Important Rare Dimes

Rare 1796 Bust Dime

Early Bust dimes are some of the most sought after of all US coins. The entire series of this design type is rare. 1796 and 1797 the important first two years, are both worth well over $1410 each.

The classic colonial dime pictured is of great interest and value to collectors. The history of US dimes started in 1796 and this nicely preserved dime in better than "Fine" condition is easily valued above $2,575.

Additionally, from 1798 to 1807 every date is valued over $425 with the 1804 as the highest value. To highlight this coin, an 1804 dime is very rare, auction results of nice original examples are $3,100 to $22,000 and higher.

In 1809 a new design was introduced and continued until 1837. All dimes of the type are scarce with very few of the original mintage surviving until today.

Rare Capped Bust Dimes

The heavily worn example represents the condition of the majority of the dimes from this era. The nicer coin with less wear and a greater amount of design showing is the exception, it is a rare dime because of condition and easily worth $185 and higher.

Collectors strive to add the finest condition examples to their collections. Many of these early dimes are scarce in heavily worn condition and are often very rare in higher condition with few available.

The true prize of the Capped Bust series is the 1822. Depending on condition a serious collector would gladly pay $2000 to $10,000 and more to add one of these elusive old dimes to their collection.

The next series containing many date and mintmark combinations, the Seated Liberty design, is always welcome by coin dealers. Of particular interest are the following rare dimes with values given for a coin in worn, circulated condition.

Rare Seated Liberty Dimes
Date Value
1860-O $630
1863 $400
1864 $390
1865 $390
1866 $450
1867 $485
1871-CC $1950
1872-CC $1000
1873-CC $2100
1874-CC $10,650
1885-S $600
Coin Values - 2014
1891-O Seated Liberty Dime

True, there are many dates are listed in this value chart, however if your coin is in the pleasing "Extremely Fine" condition similar to the one pictured above, the value list would expand to 40 different date and mints valued above $250, some reaching into the thousands of dollars.

Note: Mintmarks are small letters struck onto the coin identifying the mint that produced it. For example a coin minted in New Orleans would have an "O" mintmark, found on the reverse. Similarly, CC - Carson City | D - Denver | S- San Francisco. Coins without mintmarks were made at the Philadelphia mint. Their locations are highlighted as we move along for each series and design.

Another series, Barber dimes, is a popular coin collection to build today and also has its share of rare dimes. Here is an example of six dates scarce enough to warrant values above $40, there are more.

1895 | 1896-O | 1896-S | 1897-O | 1901-S | 1903-S

1895-O Rare Barber Dime

Interestingly all six become conditionally rare in the nicer looking "Fine" condition, values then jump to $190 and higher.

The search for rare dimes does not end here. Far more elusive, and key to completing the series, is the very rare 1895-O Barber dime. Pictured is a very nice example selling at a high price of $1466 in a recent David Lawrence Rare Coin Auction.

Rare Mercury Dimes

Every Mercury dime is worth $1.83 and heavy with silver value. In a sense all are scarce and valuable with silver at $20.57 per ounce as of 7/28/2014 . They are fun to collect and many collectors are assembling sets of Mercury dimes covering every date and mint from 1916 through 1945. Collecting demand has produced some very high values for a few key dates.

Rare Mercury Dimes

  • 1916-D a very rare dime, few were minted and they have always been the highest valued Mercury dime. The coin pictured a nice "Fine" condition example sold at auction to a high bid of $2500.

  • 1921 is a semi rare coin in the lower grades worth $45. However if yours is in the condition pictured above with just minor wear the value is closer to $370.

  • 1921-D the Denver minted coin is also semi rare worth $50 to $60 when found very worn. But if it never circulated and is in "brand new" condition it becomes a coin rarely seen with a value over $1,100.

  • 1942/1 is a mint produced error where the "2" of the date is over a "1" and both numbers are clearly showing. Coin values have risen steadily over the years demonstrating its popularity. Today collectors consider it a necessary addition to a complete collection of Mercury dimes. Due to the wear on many, they circulated freely in the past and could turn up in any box of old coins. Pictured is an example in "Fine" condition worth $365 or more.

Rare Dimes in Modern US Proof Sets

Rare No S Proof 1983 Roosevelt Dime

Modern proof sets starting in 1968 are minted in San Francisco. All coins of the set are given an "S" mintmark, or at least they are supposed to have a mintmark. In rare instances the mintmark is absent from some coins, most notably the dimes. Three dates are know to have this error of the missing "S" on the dime and the amazing values given are from recent auctions.

1968 No "S" $7,100
1970 No "S" $600
1983 No "S" $750

A careful study of all the coins in your modern poof sets is now necessary. Through out US dime history, from the first years of minting spanning until today the opportunity of finding rare dimes is possible.


Dime Values lists how much your old dimes are worth, covering the hundreds of date and mintmark combinations. All of your dimes are not rare but they all have different values depending on date and condition. Now the rest of your coins…

Coin Values Discovery... finds the value of rare dimes and... all US coins. Before selling coins the home page is an excellent index with images and text links to all coin series, from Cents to Gold. Value charts combined with grading images to judge condition, uncovers the accurate value of your box of old coins.




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