Coin Values Moving with Precious Metals: Up-Dated 12/5/2022: Gold $1804 | Silver $23.15


1898 Dime Value

Using an approach followed by collectors and dealers helps identify and narrow 1898 dime value.

Of importance to how much a coin is worth, are a few key factors. Firstly, date and mint combinations are how series of coins are collected, described and valued.

Second, an examine of condition and overall eye appeal of each coin is judged. Proceed through the steps below to find an accurate listing on the chart.

1898 Dime - Barber Dime Series - Obverse and Reverse View

Steps Leading to Value:

  • Step 1: Date and Mintmark Variety - In viewing the value chart, note the different mints that produced 1898 dimes. Determine the correct variety to narrow the value range.
  • Step 2: Grading Condition - Use the following explanations of condition to evaluate the state of preservation of your Barber Dime. Nice examples are sought after by collectors and are worth a premium price.
  • Step 3: Special Qualities - There are still a few nice quality Barber dimes available today. It is important to recognize the positive traits of these old coins.
1898 Dime Value
 Condition of Coin
DateGoodFineExtremely
Fine
Mint
State
Barber Dime Values Updated 12/5/2022
1898 $2.94 $5.55 $25 $115
1898 O $10 $74 $168 $406
1898 S $5.55 $28 $53 $398

Above is a starting point when determining a wholesale value of your Barber dimes. Follow the steps below and recognize subtle grading points to narrow the range on the chart.

Step 1: | Date and Mintmark | Confirm and Record

Branch Mint Varieties of 1898 Dimes are Collectible

Today's collectors and the sets they build place demand on Barber dimes by date and mint variety. 1898 saw 3 different mints striking these coins and each is recognized by mintmarks and valued separately on the above chart.

Branch mints, San Francisco and New Orleans placed small marks on their coinage to identify their production. With the scarcity of these branch mint issues, it is important to attribute them correctly. Images below give close-up of the marks to spot.

Record the specific date and mint combination before moving to grading condition.

1898-S Barber Dime

"S" Mintmark on Reverse: San Francisco Mint Struck the Coin

S Mintmark Barber Dime

Sufficient quantities of the San Francisco variety dime were produced in 1898 to meet demands of commerce. Mintage total is over 1.7 million coins. Heavily worn examples are abundant today and influenced in value by the up and down movements in silver price.

Confirming mint variety and then condition narrows how much these are worth. San Francisco placed an "S" mintmark on all Barber dimes to identify their coinage. On the reverse, below the wreath, the "S" mark is the San Francisco variety.

1898-O Barber Dime

"O" Mintmark on Reverse: New Orleans Mint Struck the Coin

O Mintmark Barber Dime

The New Orleans mint was one of three mints that contributed to the 1898 Barber dime production. These dimes are inexpensive in the Good grade, and very popular with beginning collectors because to their affordability. 2.1 million were struck. All show a premium on the value chart due to collector interest in the now obsolete New Orleans mint.

New Orleans was a Southern branch mint, and all of its coinage has the "O" mintmark. Identify the mint variety by looking for the "O" on the reverse along the lower rim, right below the ribbon tying the wreath.

1898 Barber Dime

No Mintmark on Reverse: Philadelphia Mint Struck the Coin

1898 No Mintmark Barber Dime

The Philadelphia mint continued the early era of the Barber series by striking an abundance of 1898 dimes. Values of very worn coins, as shown on the chart, are linked to, and move with silver content. Because of the low cost and prior century of production, these are a popular issue among collectors. A correct identification including date and mint is necessary to place an accurate value.

This variety is confirmed by the lack of a mintmark on the reverse. Philadelphia is the main U.S. mint, and it did not use mintmarks to distinguish its coins at the time. When inspecting the reverse, look immediately below the wreath, along the rim. If the area is empty, the coin was struck in Philadelphia.

Step 2: | Judge Condition to Find 1898 Dime Value on Chart

Identify and Narrow Range of Condition

Collectors seek coins that are well-preserved and each coin is examined closely. As part of the process, condition of a Barber dime is graded against standards describing stages and amounts of wear. These "grades" become an important factor to value.

Comparing your coin to the images and descriptions of grades helps identify the grade and its place on the value chart. Small details showing in Liberty's hair indicates a premium dime.

Mint State Grade

Barber Dime Mint State Grade

Mint State: When judging condition of these old Barber dimes, starting with a Mint State example shows the coin with all the original details as minted. Liberty, by definition, is without any wear to the portrait or any part of the surface. No wear defines the Mint State grade.

Detecting the absence of wear is done by inspecting the highest points of design and large open areas, both prone to the removal of metal. In the center of the dime is Liberty's jaw line, extending from ear to chin. Wear in this area would appear as a dulling of the metal and a smoothing of its texture. Original luster imparted during the striking of the coin is a fine, delicate texture, producing the shine. Luster is quickly worn and becomes dull when a coin is in circulation.

Secondly, helping confirm the example dime is without wear, luster and original texture remains on the laurel leaves just above the headband near the "L" in Liberty. These two leaves are very high in relief and flatten quickly if worn.

Barber dimes in mint state grade display all original details and luster. A shine covers the surface when the coin is rotated under a single light source.

Extremely Fine Grade

1898 Barber Dime Extremely Fine Grade

Extremely Fine: A premium Barber dime is one determined as Extremely Fine condition. Light wear just smoothing the highest areas of the design is the important definition of the grade.

Light wear is seen overall within the Laurel wreath of Liberty's portrait on the example. Upper row of leaves is well-defined with only the edges showing flattening due to wear. The lower row of leaves is worn slightly heavier. Importantly, the edges of the lower leaves remain recognizable.

A very high relief area is the headband with lettering of "Liberty" at the top of her head. All letters are fully readable, and both the top and bottom edges of the ribbon are distinct. In combination, these visible parts of the design help recognize the Extremely Fine grade.

Fine Grade

Fine Grade Barber Dime

Fine Grade: If there is visible leaf detail and head ribbon detail on a Barber dime, it is a candidate for the Fine grade. These appealing coins have only a moderate amount of wear, and many are sought and valued as collectibles. The grade is defined by moderate wear and recognizable fine detailing.

First to confirm is all letters of "Liberty" are visible on the ribbon at the top of her head, an important metric to collectors. The "ER" is sometimes weak or partial, but must be recognized. For the Fine grade, full letters are an added plus.

In addition, the leaves pointing upward of the Laurel wreath are visible with full edges. All are well outlined and separate from the rest of the design. Lower leaves are worn and blend with the hair, sections are missing or merged.

Barber dimes in Fine condition retain a very well detailed appearance.

Good Grade

Barber Dime in Good Grade

Good Grade: Good condition refers to a dime with the majority of the design worn smooth. Full outlines remaining of major elements define the grade.

From an overall perspective, the remaining design is worn flat, yet all edges of the design are complete. It is important Liberty's portrait is outlined in full and well raised from the field. Notice the eye region of Liberty is still defined, despite the fact most central design is flat.

Date and all inscriptions along the rim are clearly visible. With complete separation of the letters and rim, this Barber dime is in good condition. Letters that fade into the rim lower the appeal.

This example's bold rim is one of its positive features. It is clearly raised, bold, and defined. Although the lack of finer features, and flattening of the contours limits the grade, the coin makes a strong impression.

How to Video: Grading Barber Dimes

Increase accuracy judging condition and recognizing higher quality. Subtle points are examined in detail.

Video, Images and Descriptions | Grading Barber Dimes

Step 3: | Special Qualities | Affordable Appeal

Collector Support of 1898 Dimes

Certain dates in the Barber dime series appeal to a large collecting audience, giving the coin a unique quality. Collectors are the long-term support to premium values of these vintage dimes. Entry level collectors find affordability of many Barber dimes an excellent start to the hobby.

Second large market of silver coinage is its intrinsic value tied to the 90% silver alloy of Barber dimes.

1898 is a year suitable to both markets, silver bullion value, and the rising premiums of collectible quality examples. Ample supplies of the different 1898 mint varieties allow all levels of collectors to obtain a nice addition to a collection.

1898 Mint Issues Set of Barber Dimes

Philadelphia issues along with San Francisco 1898 dimes are within a stating collector's reach. New Orleans is a slightly higher value coin with the added appeal of its now obsolete minting facility. A "rarity" factor is added by the New Orleans dime. As experience grows with the series many hobbyists advance to higher condition coins improving the overall collection. Again, 1898 dimes are an excellent choice, both in affordability and many to choose from.

These dimes attract large collector followings. Over time new collectors become advanced collectors all supporting strong value to the Barber series.

A subtle, special quality found is the allure of a Nineteenth Century coin. A coin minted in 1898 a long-ago century. Nice, eye appealing examples of 1898 coinage retain a long-term appeal and strong collector support.

References

U.S. Mint. 1899 U.S. Mint Annual Report https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/514119

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