A Sign of the Dimes!

Yours truly doesn’t have a whole lot to say or offer up at this time, and since there’s a very good chance we could lose power over the next couple of days, I decided to share John Howland’s latest here on the home page. Thanks Bubba…



Tales of treasures lost and fortunes found litters American history. Many of the tales dating to well over a century ago are born out of the days known as the Wild West. It’s the stuff  of Hollywood legend and matinee idols, of the kind that made screen heroes out of Randolph Scott (a particular favourite), Gary Cooper (and you didn’t mess with him when he’d had more than two-fingers of Rub o’ the Brush), war hero Audie Murphy (Shane), and Rory Calhoun (known for his portrayal of The Texan) notwithstanding his time as a hoodlum who robbed a jeweler’s store,  stole a car, drove it across a state line making it a federal offense. He did three years in the Springfield, Missouri, penitentiary, finishing his incarceration in San Quentin). He made good  and became a movie star.  But my all-time favourite, was Ray Danton, star of The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960) and The George Raft Story. All these guys added to the romantic  mystique of the pioneer West where truth and fiction blended seamlessly. However….

barberdimeOne particular treasure tale still remains cloaked in controversy. It concerns the so-called Colorado Dimes Incident, where barrels of freshly minted, silver 1907 Barber Dimes,  reckoned today to be worth around $4-million to the finder, went AWOL in mysterious circumstances.  So what makes these particular Barbers so special? Though some 4,080,000 were struck from 90% silver and 10% copper bearing the ‘D’ of the Denver mint, few ‘D’ Barbers exist today in really good condition, whereas the lost coins if found will be in excellent condition  and highly prized. “This coin is tough to find in AU and MS, according to the David Lawrence Rare Coins blog.

Numismatists are divided in their opinions; some reckon that the 1907 Barber Dime is, inexplicably, one of the rarest American coin types, especially in Fine condition even though over four million were minted.  Others say precisely the opposite. Today, just a handful exists in reasonably good condition. So who’s right?  Depends who you listen to.

The story goes that in 1907, a shipment of these silver Barbers Dimes, were packed in a number of barrels at the Denver Mint, Colorado, and put aboard a Phoenix-bound wagon train.  Neither they, nor any of the wagon train crew arrived at the intended destination.  Somewhere along the trail they and the dimes vanished from the face of the earth.  Speculation abounds as to their fate:  Were they prey to outlaws? Or did the wagon crew make off with them, or, as some treasure hunters believe, the wagon train fell victim to the treacherous terrain, possibly toppling into Black Canyon.  Maybe even, the wagon train was swamped as it tried to ford the Gunnison River.  My money (yeh, I know, a dumb-ass Limey), is on the latter and somewhere close to the Gunnison River’s Diversion Dam.

No one knows for sure the precise shipment’s precise fate, but if you could get your hands on the contents of those barrels you could be looking at a great payday at today’s prices.  Good luck!



In one of his poorly written, near impenetrable blogs, Barford again rants and rages at Tekkies, rounding off his outburst with the best throwaway line in years:

“Tekkie-Apologetic Winter [he means the excellent writer, John Winter] and his lowbrow-conspiracy-theory fellows are really getting pathetic with their childish denials. Just what do they  take the rest of us for?”

I’m not sure about the rest Barford, but I know what many take you for (including some arkies) and it rhymes with Rick!



Laughter will be bereaved when intellectual snobbery dies…

I’ll see y’all in the bar!



Filed under Metal Detecting

8 responses to “A Sign of the Dimes!

  1. That’s one of the better names I’ve been called, Dick.
    Thanks for the support

  2. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Hey Dick, with that bad weather you must really feel like your back in New Jersey!

    • Right now Tony it’s 7am and it’s we have been hit big time. Can’t really see all that well yet but it looks like we lost our 25 year old oak tree or at least most of it, and there have been crashing noises out back. Everything is covered in ice and I suspect it’s only a matter of time before we lose power. Crossing my fingers on that one. Will assess the damage when day light comes.

  3. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Hey Dick, I hope you didn’t lose power – TV says over 200,000 in Dallas Fort Worth are in the dark today.
    I loved this treasure story of the lost Dimes. Thinking about it – if they were found and you told the newspapers – the US Mint would want them back before you could say – Uncle Sam!

    • Haven’t lost power yet though the lights have been flickering. We lost telephone, internet and TV for about 6 hours..just came back up.
      Unfortunately it won’t get above freezing for a couple more days. Wind chill near zero tonight.

      • Big Tony from Bayonne

        Oh wow, I feel for you – tis is the part of winter that we don’t need. I hope the sun comes out for you today.
        I was thinking about this Dimes story in 1907. I guess the local paper archive would be my first place to search. If there are articles about it then this is a real treasure story.

  4. Joseph from Oregon

    Still time to move to Oregon! Maybe around Sweet Home!
    (Sure beats Jersey and Texas.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.