A Liberty Dime from 1874-S

There are numerous outstanding coins at low costs. It seems everyone has favorites. You can find affordable Barber dimes, quarters, and half dollars by going through the mintages. The same applies to Seated Liberty issues as the 1874-S dime.

It's clear why Seated Liberty issues are quiet. Unlike Barber dimes, quarters, and half dollars, Seated Liberty coins were last made almost a century ago, so it's likely that no one alive today has ever gotten one.

This is why Seated Liberty issues are rarely active, but dimes are worse. It may be because silver dollars and gold double eagles are always active, while dimes are not. Everything sets the stage for great Seated Liberty dimes discounts. An observant buyer may find a nice value with the 1874-S, which had a mintage of 240,000 and was lower than the 1916-D Mercury dime.

Not one of the rarest Seated Liberty dimes is the 1874-S. Really low mintage Seated Liberty dimes are priced accordingly. Some, like the 1844, have been pushed over the years and may look more expensive than they should be. The 1874-S is often forgotten because it was one of the two years with arrows after the dime's silver content was increased. The arrows were displayed next to the date in 1873 and 1874 before being deleted in 1875.

Some overlook the 1874-S because it's a two-year kind. The 1873-CC and 1874-CC are two of the rarest and most valuable Seated Liberty dimes, although they treat them as type coins. Just like the 1874-S, they're short-lived.

The 1874-S was unlikely to be saved for years, therefore it's worth considering the scenario. Few collectors collected by date and mint. Therefore, they would have been content with any 1874 dime since they collected by date and did not need the 1874-S. This pattern persisted for two decades, by which time any 1874-S in circulation was worn.

At $26 in G-4 now, the 1874-S is a good value. The 1916-D Mercury dime, with a higher mintage and more recent production, costs $725 in the same grade. With low demand, the 1874-S doesn't change much in price, but even a little extra demand could push it up.

The 1974-S costs $800 in MS-60 and nothing in MS-65, implying there is not enough supply to get a good reading. Not surprising. San Francisco branch mint issues were rarely saved, and it was rare to find an MS-65 Mint State specimen.

Interesting, the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation grades only 50 samples, 33 of which are Mint State and five above MS-64. A Professional Coin Grading Service grades 81 coins, 35 of which are Mint State and ten above MS-64. Graded samples are few, suggesting the 1874-S does not exist. There are some Mint State 1874-S, but they are tough and neglected in all grades.

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