SPECIMEN STRIKE. Unique as Certified. Turn of the Century Date. Compared with the 1894-S BM Proof this represents a relative no-brainer at this value!
The recent sale of the 1894-S Dime owned by Dr. Jerry Buss (former owner of the Los Angeles Lakers) at more than $1,300,000 to super collector Dell Hansen has been ALL OVER various news outlets including CNN. Of course, any time one of these super rarities pops up it creates an intense fervor. But what about some of the great rarities that exist that don't see the light of day because they trade inside the inner layers of the coin community? Some of these remain some of the most exceptional opportunities within the marketplace. At one time these coins were completely misunderstood, but advancements in numismatic research have been uncovering the truth.
Today, the 1894-S Barber Dime is one of the icons of American coin collecting. With a mintage of 24 coins and estimated survival of just about 9 examples, it is one of the most desirable coins in the history of the U.S. Mint and one of an elite club of pieces that routinely sell for more than seven-figure sums at auction.
Of course, the 1894-S has benefited from more than a century of marketing. Some experts argue the 1894-S Dimes aren't Proof at all, but rather Specimens just like the 1900-S. In fact, the 1900-S has very little separating it from the look of the 1894-S overall.
If you had the chance to acquire a 94-S Dime decades ago, obviously you'd be sitting in a phenomenal position today.
It is interesting to note that no public knowledge of the 1894-S Dimes was made outside the Mint's walls until a 1900-year article in the 'Numismatist' magazine mentioned them for the first time. It is entirely possible that the 1900-S was struck upon that news, and it would make perfect sense as well in a turn of the century date.