1898-S Barber 10c


Finest Known

Ex Hugon, Blay

Hugon's Superb Semi-Prooflike Gem 1898-S

1898-S is one of a trio of Barber Dime issues, including 1899-S and 1900-S, of which a significant portion of the original mintage is reported to have been shipped to the Philippines for local circulation. Numismatic researcher David W. Lange noted:

About the same time that tourists were discovering obsolete half dimes in the Caribbean, the San Francisco Mint was shipping millions of dimes, quarters and halves to the Philippine Islands. Acquired by the USA from Spain in the 1899 Treaty of Paris, these islands lacked a reliable coinage of their own, so fractional silver pieces dated 1898-S, 1899-S and 1900-S were shipped there in large numbers. Not suited to the local economy, these coins circulated a very short time before being replaced with a unique series based on a Philippine peso equivalent to 50 cents USA. The S-Mint Barber silver coins were simply hoarded as a store of silver by the Filipinos until being mostly repatriated after 1960. By then the coins, though unworn or just lightly worn, had turned very dark in the harsh climate of the Philippines. Seen today, they typically are harshly cleaned though still retain rich detail.

David W. Lange, “USA Coin Album: America’s Coinage Abroad, Part Two”, May 2010

This 1898-S shows no evidence of having made the Pacific round trip, as the surfaces are fresh and fully lustrous. Fine die polish lines and lightly reflective fields point to an early strike from fresh dies. The strike is exceptionally sharp, with the reverse cereal wreath showing in incredibly fine detail. Lightly toned in a rainbow progression of color near the edges about centers that are mostly faint blue-white to light yellow in tone.

When this 1898-S was sold as part of the Hugon Collection in 2005, it stood as the sole PCGS MS67 with three MS66s trailing. Today, six more MS66/66+ coins have been added to the PCGS roster, and one more MS67. Three of the PCGS graded MS66s are included in the CAC census – MS66 #06666223, MS66+ #81430400 (previously MS66 #06700349), and MS66+ #29627863 – none of which approach the MS67 grade. The newest PCGS MS67 #44654468 was last sold by Legend Auctions, May 2022, lot 133 at $20,562 and is currently included in the D.L. Hansen Collection. However, this Hugon 1898-S remains the first MS67 of the issue certified by PCGS, the clear finest known, and the only MS67 currently included in the CAC roster.

PCGS #50138112


John C. Hugon; Heritage Auctions “The John C. Hugon Collection”, January 2005, lot 4020 @ $25,300 as PCGS MS67; Stewart Blay.