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Dime Sells for $2+ Million
By Numismatic News
July 19, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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More than $2 million was paid by Legend Numismatics for the Daggett Specimen 1894-S Barber dime that is graded branch mint PR64+ by the Professional Coin Grading Service.

Though the exact purchase price was not disclosed, the transaction was announced by Legend July 16.

The firm bought the coin from John Feigenbaum, president of David Lawrence Rare Coins.

Legend notes that paying this record price for a dime helped fulfill a collecting goal of Legend partner Bruce Morelan.

“Legend has bought and sold great rarities like the ’94-S 10 cents, none have ever gone down in value. This coin was a no-brainer for us to buy,” said Laura Sperber, Legend president.

At the end of April Feigenbaum had announced his acquisition of the dime and he had put a price of $2.5 million on it. He personally handled the sale to Legend.

“It was an easy negotiation and a pleasure because both parties believe in the rarity and extreme desirability of this historic coin,” he said.

Legend says there are many theories as to why 24 proof dimes were minted in 1894 at San Francisco. Only 10 are confirmed to exist today and this coin is likely the third finest known.

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The most widely accepted theory, as related by Legend, is San Francisco Mint Superintendent John Daggett had high ranking visitors he wanted to impress with special coins. No one knows why he picked the dime, except that he needed to balance a $2.40 deficit in the Mint ledger.

After minting and distributing the coins to his friends and guests, he gave three or four coins to his daughter, Hallie Daggett.

Hallie eventually sold a couple gem examples, including this coin, to Earl Parker, a coin dealer in California, around 1950. At the time, she told Parker that she originally spent one of her prized dimes to buy an ice cream cone. That coin is known today in Good-4 as the “Ice Cream Specimen,” but it has not traded hands publicly since 1981.




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