The 1894-S Barber dime, produced in the United States Barber coinage is one of the rarest and most highly prized United States coins for collectors, along with the 1804 dollar and the 1913 Liberty Head nickel. One was sold in 2005 for $1.3 million dollars, another was sold in 2007 for $1.9 million. And recently, one rare 10-cent piece went under the hammer for little more than $1.3 million as well.
What makes it’s rare and expensive is its history and the fact that
only 24 were minted, and of those, only nine are known to survive.
The last 1894-S Barber dime that recently sold at auction was purchased by Dell Loy Hansen, a Utah businessman and owner of the Real Salt Lake soccer club. He paid $1.32 million for the 125-year-old coin last Thursday at the Stack’s-Bowers Rarities Night Auction in Chicago.
“This was an opportunity to buy yet another famous rarity for the growing collection,” Hansen said in a statement.
Hansen has been collecting coins for years, and is amassing the first privately-held coin collection of items from 1792 to the present day, according to John Brush, president of David Lawrence Rare Coins, who is helping Hansen curate his collection and was in Chicago to bid on the dime.
“When you’re bidding a million dollars on a coin, it’s nerve-wracking,” Brush said. “You kind of get the sweaty palms, because that’s a lot of money.”
Brush said Hansen needs only six coins to complete his collection, but they are not available for sale.