One of the most exciting things about coin collecting is the possibility of finding a coin in your pocket change that's worth far more than its face value. So, if you come across an unusual looking dime, don't spend it right away. Instead, take time for a little research, because some dimes can be worth a lot more than ten cents. In fact, some of the rarest and most valuable dimes are worth over a million dollars. While you may not find all of these treasures in your regular pocket change, there are some still in circulation that may be worth a lot. Knowing what to look for can help you spot these valuable coins.
15 of the Most Valuable Dimes Ever Sold
When it comes to coin collecting, auction records are a good way to determine which coins are worth the most money. The dimes on this list set records for their type and are some of the most valuable.
1894-S Barber Dime - $1,997,500
One of the rarest US coins in existence according PCGS Coin Trackers, the 1894-S Barber dime has only nine known examples today. A proof copy of a coin they didn't end up minting that year, there were originally 24 struck. One sold for $1,997,500 in January of 2016. The dime features Lady Liberty in profile on the front and a wreath on the back with "One Dime" stamped in the center. Although it was a proof coin, a few ended up in circulation, including one that showed up in 1957 at Gimbels Department Store in New York City.
There's a charming story about this coin that may or may not be true. Legend says that the San Francisco Mint superintendent, knowing the coin would be exceptionally rare, gave three of them to his daughter to keep. On her way home from the mint on a hot day, she spent one of the three for ice cream. Whether or not the story is based in fact, it is possible there are more examples of this super valuable dime that passed into circulation and have yet to be discovered.
1792 Silver Disme - $998,750
The next most valuable dime is the 1792 silver disme, which sold for $998,750 in April 2016. There are only three known examples of this coin, which were struck before the US Mint was officially up and running. The dime features a flowing hair portrait on the front, which may be the likeness of first lady Martha Washington or simply a picture of Lady Liberty.
Legend says that George Washington himself gave permission to mint this coin, then called a disme. This association with Washington, along with the extreme rarity of the coin, makes this one of the most valuable dimes in existence. Over 2,000 half dismes were struck at the same time, and a collector found one in a junk box as recently as 2021. Although it's less likely you'll find the full disme just floating around, it never hurts to look.
1796 Liberty Dime - $881,250
An especially fine example of one of the oldest US coins, the 1796 Liberty dime sold for $881,250 in June of 2014. This example of the coin was in incredible condition and represented one of the first strikes of the coin, possibly one that never entered circulation. On the front, it shows Lady Liberty in profile with some of her hair pulled back, and on the back, there's "United States of America" and an eagle.
This particular example is so valuable because of its age, rarity, and condition. Over 22,000 1796 dimes were struck, but many of them are lost or in poor condition. Even those in rough shape are still worth thousands.
1873-CC No Arrows Dime - $632,500
The 1873 dime is valuable on its own, but a rare mistake makes one example worth even more. The 1873 No Arrows dime lacks the standard arrows on either side of the stamped year on the front of the coin. This variation is part of why a beautiful example sold for $632,500 in April of 1999. On the front, it shows Lady Liberty seated and holding a shield. On the back, it says "One Dime" surrounded by a wreath.
Mint records indicate that 12,400 dimes without arrows were struck in 1873 in Carson City, but when the Mint discovered the mistake, they melted these dimes down to create new coins. Someone may have traded a regular dime for this one, saving the No Arrows dime from being melted. There is only one known to exist.
1873-CC Dime With Arrows - $552,000
Although not as rare as the No Arrows dime, the regular 1873 dime is still a very uncommon coin. Only 18,791 examples were minted in Carson City, and most of these have been lost or destroyed. Estimates indicate about 135 still survive, and most of these are very worn. One of three known mint-state examples sold in 2022 for $552,000. The design is exactly like the No Arrows dime, but with arrows on either side of the date.
Although the 1873-CC dime is valuable in any condition because of its rarity, the condition makes this coin worth more. Still, if you find an 1873-CC dime in any kind of shape, it's likely worth thousands.
1975 No S Roosevelt Dime - $456,000
A minting mistake makes the 1975 No S Roosevelt dime a hot item with collectors. This coin was struck at the San Francisco Mint and should have born the S mark above the date to indicate its origin. However, a few coins didn't have the mark. Quality control was very good, and all but two of the coins were destroyed by the San Francisco Mint. The two that slipped through were included in proof sets of 1975 coins, both bought by a California collector the same year.
The No S error makes this 1975 coin the most valuable Roosevelt dime in existence. One of the two known examples sold in 2019 for $456,000. Although you may not find this coin in your spare change, it's worth keeping an eye out for minting errors on any coin. Mistakes are rare and add value.
1822 Cameo Dime - $440,625
Proofs of coins in mint condition can be incredibly popular, pushing what would already be an important coin even higher in value. Dimes from 1822 are already rare, with only about 100,000 minted, less than 10% of the number of dimes minted the year before in 1821. However, proof copies of these dimes are almost impossible to find. Heritage Auctions reports that there are only two proof copies known to exist, and one sold in 2014 for $440,625.
The Cameo dime has Lady Liberty in profile, like on a cameo brooch. She's wearing a headdress that says "Liberty" and is surrounded by stars. The other side has an eagle and shield. If you spot a Cameo dime, especially from the year 1822, it's definitely worth getting it appraised. You're not likely to find a proof copy, but this is still a rare coin on its own.
1797 13 Stars Dime - $402,500
With a beautifully preserved example selling in 2008 for $402,500, the 1797 13 Stars dime deserves a place on the list of most valuable antique coins. Surprisingly, at this early point in the history of the US Mint, dimes could have different designs featuring different numbers of stars. Some had 15, 16, or 13 stars, and various other elements of the design could be different too. Although more than 25,000 13 Stars dimes were minted in 1797, it's likely only about 50 survive.
Most examples sell for a few thousand dollars if they have a lot of wear, but like all coins, condition can have a major impact on value. Only two are known to exist in this nearly pristine condition, which is why they are worth so much.
1841 No Drapery Dime - $312,000
The standard 1841 dime featured a seated Lady Liberty with modest fabric draping covering her body and arms. However, a rare proof version had a subtle variation: the drapery leaves her arm bare. There are only two known examples of this version of the coin, and one sold at auction in 2022 for $312,000.
The extreme rarity of this coin makes it valuable. Additionally, there's some question about why and how it exists. Some people think it was over-polished, removing the detail of the drapery. However, it seems more likely it was a design variation included in a proof set.
1871-CC Seated Dime - $270,250
Similar in design to the seated Lady Liberty on the 1841 dime, the 1871-CC coin is very hard to find in mint condition. No one is sure how many exist in this shape, but it isn't many. When an example does come up, it tends to be worth a lot. One sold for $270,250 in 2014.
While over 20,000 dimes like this were minted in 1871 in Carson City (the first year that mint produced dimes), only an estimated 110 survive. This makes any examples valuable, even if the condition isn't as perfect. Worn 1871-CC dimes still sell for thousands of dollars. Look for the CC stamped on the back of the dime under the bottom center of the wreath.
1798 Small 8 Dime - $253,000
The 1798 dime looks very similar to the 1797 dime mentioned above. Lady Liberty has a ribbon in her long hair and is displayed in profile on the front. The year is stamped just under the portrait. However, in some variations of the 1798 dime, the 8 in the year is stamped smaller than the rest of the numbers. There is also a version of the coin with a normal sized 8.
The 1798 small 8 dime is very rare, with only 27 examples known. This coin's rarity and its age combine to enhance the value, and coins in excellent condition are worth a lot. One beautiful dime sold for $253,000 in 2008.
1919-D Mercury Dime - $218,500
One of the most valuable Mercury dimes, a spectacularly well-preserved 1919-D sold at auction in 2000 for $218,500. Although there were nearly 10 million of this coin minted, they are very hard to find in excellent condition.
The Mercury dime actually features Lady Liberty, but because her headdress is winged, people confused her with Mercury, the Roman god of commerce, communication, and more. A Mercury dime isn't always super valuable, but they stopped making them in 1945. An older coin tends to be worth more than face value.
1874-CC Arrows Dime - $216,000
There were only 10,817 Arrows dimes minted in Carson City in 1874, making it one of the rarest dimes of the period. Of the 10,817 minted, most went into regular circulation, where they were worn down or lost. Only about 80 are estimated to remain, and very few are close to mint condition.
When a rare minting like this is in excellent shape, it becomes very valuable. One sold for $216,000 in 2022. However, even those in rough condition can be worth thousands of dollars.
1860-O Seated Dime - $192,000
Although the minting of only about 40,000 pieces makes this dime rare, it's even harder to find in good condition. Minted just before the United States Civil War, this coin was in regular circulation as the Union and Confederacy fought on battlefields across the country. In fact, people have reported finding examples on the battlefields where soldiers may have dropped or lost them in the chaos of war.
This coin is extremely rare in mint state, likely because of the low number minted and the condition issues the coins endured. A mint condition example sold for $192,000 in 2022, setting a record for this coin.
1800 Dime - $192,000
Another example from the early days of the US Mint, the 1800 dime is very rare. It features Lady Liberty in profile with a ribbon in her hair, similar to other dimes of the era. About 200 of this coin are estimated to survive in any condition, and examples in close to mint condition are very rare.
One sold in 2022 for $192,000. All the details were crisp and clean, and it had a lovely patina.
Three Valuable Dimes You Might Find in Your Pocket
While you're not likely to run across a 1792 disme in your spare change, there are plenty of dimes floating around that are worth some money. Keep an eye out for the following rare coins.
1965 Transitional Error Roosevelt Dime - $3,000 and up
In 1965, the US Mint transitioned from making dimes out of 90% silver to copper and nickel instead. There weren't supposed to be any silver dimes during this transition, but a mistake meant a few 1965 silver dimes slid into circulation. Today, they can be worth $3,000 or more, with one selling at auction for $8,400 in 2019. If you have any 1965 dimes in your pockets, it's worth taking a closer look. Check the edge of the dime. If it appears silver with no traces of copper, it could be one of these rare dimes.
1942/1941-D Overdate Mercury Dime - $350 and up
One of the most valuable Mercury dimes that you might still find in your pocket is the 1942/1941 overdate. During World War II, some examples of the 1942 dime were struck in the Denver mint with both the 1941 and 1942 dies. If you find one, it's probably worth a few hundred dollars, and it could be worth much more. A mint condition example sold for $25,850 in 2016. You'll need to examine the date closely to see traces of the overstrike.
1982 No Mintmark Roosevelt Dime - $75 and up
In the early 1980s, the Philadelphia Mint began stamping coins with a P. However, the process left lots of room for human error, and in 1982, some dimes were issued that didn't include the mintmark. These come in strong and weak strikes, referring to the boldness of the stamping. The strong strikes are worth the most, starting at about $75. One sold for $288 in 2021. It's worth your time to check for this date and a lack of mintmark, which would normally appear as a small "P" above the date on the coin's face.
Spotting a Special Coin
As you can see by the variety of dimes collectors covet, there are a number of factors that can help you determine if a coin is rare and valuable. Certain years of dimes are valuable, such as those made during the 1790s and 1800s. Condition has a huge impact on value, too, with dimes in mint condition always fetching more at auction than similar but worn examples. Errors can also make a dime worth more. Ultimately, watching for all these factors can help you spot those special coins when you see them.