One-of-a-kind dime fetches $1.84 million
The two existing United States mints produce coins at a staggering rate. Since 1999, more than 180 billion pennies, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar pieces have been turned out by the Philadelphia and Denver mints.
In the year 2000 alone, the Philadelphia mint alone coined more than 1.8 billion 10-cent pieces. That’s five dimes for every man, woman and child in the US just in that year alone.
Alas, mints didn’t always produce coins in such prodigious amounts.
Take, for example, the Carson City, Nev., mint, which in 1873 struck just 12,400 Seated Liberty dimes of a variety collectors designate as “without arrows,” for its lack of arrows on the obverse, on either side of the date.
All were produced in a single day.
Just one example of that brief run is known to exist, and it was auctioned for $1.84 million in Philadelphia late last week.
The coin, one of the gems of American numismatics, was part of the Battle Born Collection, which contained one example of every coin struck at the Carson City mint during its 24 years of operation between 1870 and 1893.
The entire collection sold for about $10 million.
Chris Napolitano, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries, which auctioned off the collection, said there was above-average interest in the 1873 dime.
“We had four or five buyers [offering] over a million dollars,” he told The Associated Press.
The Carson City mint struck nearly 21 million dimes between 1871 and 1878. In terms of quantity, this was by far the highest number of pieces of any denomination produced in Carson City, according to the Carson City Coin Club.
“The 1873-CC Without Arrows dime is unique and stands alone as the rarest coin of any struck at the Carson Mint, and is considered one of the top-ten all-time greatest coins in US history,” according to the club’s website.