US Coins

No Mint mark? Proof No S dimes: Market Analysis

Modern collectors continue to break records at auction for rare coins in top grades, as evidenced by the auction Feb. 14 of a Professional Coin Grading Service Proof 70 Deep Cameo 1983-S Roosevelt, No S dime for $20,489.70. 

Eleven bidders participated in the auction and two bidders competed above the $10,000 level for the dime that had a QA check sticker on the PCGS holder. 

GreatCollections President Ian Russell attributes the strong price to both overall strength in modern coins and, more specifically, an increased interest from collectors in Proof No S coins. 

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PCGS has graded just two examples of this popular die variety in this perfect grade. The other realized $10,560 at a Nov. 2, 2014, GreatCollections auction. At the time it was the only example graded Proof 70 Deep Cameo by PCGS. The most recent sale was the result of an expansion of the PCGS Proof 70 DCAM population to two coins, and this dime was certified within the past several months. 

Proof Roosevelt dimes of the era were struck at the San Francisco Mint. The 1983 No S Roosevelt dime was created when the S Mint mark was left off the Proof dies, which were prepared at the Philadelphia Mint. This error had happened three times before on Roosevelt dimes in 1968, 1970 and in 1975. The Proof 1970 and 1983 No S dimes survive in quantities sufficient to meet collector demand. 

The typical 1983-S Roosevelt, No S dime grades Proof 69 Deep Cameo, and PCGS has graded 174 of them in this grade, along with around 100 in lower grades. 

At Heritage’s most recent Florida United Numismatists convention auction, the firm sold a PCGS Proof 69 Deep Cameo example for $763.75, and at the time, just one was graded finer. At the same time, Numismatic Guaranty Corp. had graded 108 in Proof 69 Ultra Cameo with just four finer. 

One of these four, graded NGC Proof 70 Ultra Cameo, sold for just under $5,000 at a June 2014 Heritage auction. 

The 1968-S Roosevelt, No S dime remains the collectible key to the series, with perhaps a dozen or so known, of which the finest seen by PCGS grade Proof 68 Deep Cameo. One of these sold for $21,150 at a July 2015 Heritage auction. So far, PCGS has certified none as Proof 69 Deep Cameo. 

The virtually noncollectible 1975-S Roosevelt, No S dime is represented by just two survivors known to collectors today. Due to the extreme rarity, collectors debate whether it was a deliberate error made to profit an individual at the Mint, or if the error was detected very early and the Mint’s quality control captured and destroyed nearly all examples. Regardless, it is a legendary 20th century rarity. At the 2011 American Numismatic Association auction, Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold one graded Proof 68 Deep Cameo for $349,600, in the only auction appearance for either of the examples. 

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