Obverse Dies: 1 Known
1885 San Francisco dimes are rare in any grade, and become very rare in Mint State. This limited mintage was produced from a single die pair. Beware of potential 1885 Philadelphia dimes with an added S mintmark.
Plate Coin: Fortin 101, Deep Gray Blue Toning on Obverse, Lighter Golden Tone on Reverse
San Francisco Mint employees contributed to Dime production in 1885, but only to a limited extent. The mintage of the 1885-S Dime was an anemic 43,690 coins. Most of the 1885-S Dimes entered circulation and few were saved by collectors, thus creating the rarest Dime of the 1875 to 1891 period. Even low-end circulated examples are highly prized. In Mint State, barely a dozen examples are known. Gems are extremely rare. The finest example is a single PCGS MS66 from the Eugene Gardner Collection, a coin which set a record price for the date of $49,937.50.
As might be expected, Dime researcher Gerry Fortin could identify only one die pair for this date.
Bowers & Merena 5/1996:1228 - Joseph O'Connor, sold privately in 5/2004 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2014:30279, $49,937.50