A Utah businessman paid $1.32 million for a dime last week at a Chicago coin auction.
It wasn’t just any 10-cent piece; the 1894-S Barber Dime is one of only 24 that were ever made, according to Stack’s Bowers Galleries, which held the auction Thursday night.
Only nine of the coins are confirmed to still exist.
The coin was purchased by Dell Loy Hansen, who also owns the Real Salt Lake MLS team.
Hansen is an avid coin collector and is working toward a collection that includes an example of every coin ever made by the US Mint from 1792 to the present, said John Brush, president of David Lawrence Rare Coins, who is helping Hansen curate his collection and was in Chicago to bid on the dime.
“When you’re bidding a million dollars on a coin, it’s nerve-wracking,” Brush said. “You kind of get the sweaty palms, because that’s a lot of money.”
Brush said Hansen needs only six coins to complete his collection, but they are not available for sale.
The 1894-S is known as a Barber Dime because it was designed by engraver Charles E. Barber, who designed many coins for US Mints.
The coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint on June 9, 1894, the Professional Coin Grading Service said in a statement. The service certified the coin’s condition and authenticity.
The dime once belonged to Jerry Buss, the late owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. It last went up for auction in 1988.
Another 1894-S dime sold in 2016 to an anonymous buyer for almost $2 million.