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The Scarce 1895-O Barber Dime

By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez - August 31, 2023

The 1895-O Barber Dime is one of the toughest issues in the whole series. Courtesy of PCGS TrueView. Click image to enlarge.

The Barber Dime series isn’t necessarily notable for boasting a bevy of stopping key dates… Pricey coins, yes. But when it comes to monumental key dates akin to the magnitude of the 1909-S VDB issue of the Lincoln Cent series, the 1916-D emission for the Mercury Dimes, or the several S-mint keys for the Barber Quarter, there simply isn’t much of note along those lines for the Barber Dime. At least this is the case when looking at absolute rarity in the circulated grades. But there is at least one coin that gives collectors and their pocketbooks pause when approaching the completion of a Barber Dime set. That issue is the 1895-O, a low-mintage scarcity that commands three figures even in the lowest grades.

Mintage figures for the 1895-O Barber Dime are relatively small, with just 440,000 struck at the New Orleans Mint. The number of survivors is far smaller, with just an estimated 1,000 across all grades according to PCGS. But the kicker is this – the 1895-O boasts the third-highest number of encapsulations for the series, behind the much more common 1892 and 1898 issues.

However, of all the encapsulated 1895-O Dimes in the marketplace, the vast majority of them are circulated specimens, and especially those grading XF40 or lower. In the higher grades, the coin becomes much more difficult to locate, with Mint State specimens remarkably challenging. Small handfuls of the 1895-O are seen among the grades of MS63, MS64, and MS65, and then the issue becomes exceedingly rare in grades above that. Just three have been graded by PCGS in MS66 and only one in MS67.

Pricing for this coin ranges from about $550 in G4 to north of $1,000 in F12. Those seeking a Mint State specimen for their collections can expect to lay out five figures. It’s a $12,000 coin in MS63 and nears $30,000 in MS65. The record for this coin is claimed by the single PCGS MS67 representative, which garnered $58,755.88 in a 2017 Heritage Auctions showing.

Article provided by PCGS at
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