A few weeks ago I spoke about Jefferson Nickels an how simple it was to build a set of them. Today I want to speak about another simple set to put together, Roosevelt Dimes. There is one added incentive to collecting Roosevelt Dimes, silver. For almost 20 years, these dimes contained 90% silver, where Jefferson Nickels only had 4 years, 1942-1945. While silver is still around $20 an ounce, Roosevelt Dimes are still reasonably priced to buy.
In April, 1945, World War II was coming to an end in Europe. The allies were closing in on Berlin with the Western allies coming from the west and the Soviet Union coming from the east. On April 12th, President Franklin Roosevelt passed away at the age of 63, less than on month before the Germans surrender.
Congress would pass legislation to put Roosevelt’s face on the dime because he founded a charity organization that would become The March of Dimes. The dime would be designed by John Sinnock since he had previously designed the Presidential Medal of Roosevelt.
The Roosevelt Dime was released on January 30th, 1946, Roosevelt’s birthday. From 1946 – 1964, the dimes were 90% silver. Since 1965, they have been clad (copper nickel).
Like I said earlier a Roosevelt Dime collection is easy to do, but if you’re looking for key dates, especially in uncirculated condition, I would say based on low mintages the 1949-S, 1950-S, 1951-S, 1955-P, D and S, and the 1996-W. Some may add semi-key dates like the 1946-S and the 1949-P and D.
Full Bands and Full Torch
Some of the third party grading services use the detail of the torch on the reverse as an additional grading variety. PCGS has the designation Full Bands if the upper and lower bands are distinct and show no wear. NGC has the designation of Full Torch which goes beyond Full Bands by including that you can see the detail of the vertical bands and show no wear.
The 1996 mint set include a dime from West Point in its own packaging. Because of this, there were only 1,457,000 of them. This was the first time a dime had a ‘W’ mint mark.
March of Dimes 75th Anniversary
To mark this anniversary, the US Mint issued the 2015 March of Dimes Special Silver Set. It included a 2015-S March of Dime Silver Dollar, a 2015-P Reverse Proof Dime and a 2015-W Silver Proof Dime.
Collecting Roosevelt Dimes can be Fun
An easy set to complete, Roosevelt Dimes are a great set for beginners as a starter coin set. It’s been around for 70 years now. You could do the whole set, or even do a short set of just the silver ones – 1946 – 1964. Would you consider collecting Roosevelt Dimes?
Great information about the silver content of US dimes etc, I had no idea! I know here in Australia they removed the 2c coins some years ago because they could be melted down and sold for a higher value than the coin itself due to the copper content and high demand for copper – Imagine if we’d all collected and stockpiled a few coins over the years, you’d be sitting on a relative goldmine when they’re finally out of circulation…I imagine.
Same idea with the penny. They reduced the copper content in 1982 but recently the cost is above a penny.
Very interesting post, I never knew dimes could be so interesting!
They each look so unique and cool and I can see why people collect them.
I have a question, which is your favorite out of the ones you showed us, and why?
Also, Which is the most valuable/ how much are they usually individually.
Thanks for such an informative article.
Thanks Claire! My favorite coin is the Kennedy Half Dollar. My favorite Roosevelt Dime is the 1955-S. It’seems not the most valuable but is a low mintage. Also it was the Las circulated silver dime from San Francisco.
In terms of most valuable, I would guess an uncirculated 1949-S would be the top uncirculated, especially above MS-63. An MS-65 might go for $50. Circulated dimes would probably go for melt value or a little more depending on the price of silver.
I just recently got into collecting coins and I’ve previously heard about the Roosevelt dimes from an acquaintance who also collects.
I have been looking around the internet trying to find some good deals and it appears that there are quite a few people selling them.
This makes me wonder if now is a good time to buy. Do you think that with the economy struggling right now that there are a more than usual amount of people selling coins?
Congratulations on starting coin collecting. Now is definitely a good time to buy silver coins. Silver is around $20 an ounce right now so now is the time to buy Silver Roosevelt Dimes from 1946 – 1964.