|Value||0.10 U.S. dollar|
|Mass||2.268 g (0.0729 troy oz)|
|Diameter||17.91 mm (0.705 in)|
|Thickness||1.35 mm (0.053 in)|
|Composition||Current—91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel |
Prior to 1965—90% silver, 10% copper
|Years of minting||1796–present|
|Design||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Designer||John R. Sinnock|
|Design||Olive branch, torch, oak branch|
|Designer||John R. Sinnock|
The dime, in United States usage, is a ten-cent coin, one tenth of a United States dollar, labeled formally as "one dime". The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. The dime is the smallest in diameter and is the thinnest of all U.S. coins currently minted for circulation, being 0.705 inches (17.91 millimeters) in diameter and 0.053 in (1.35 mm) in thickness. The obverse of the current dime depicts the profile of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the reverse boasts an olive branch, a torch, and an oak branch, from left to right respectively. As of 2011, the dime coin cost 5.65 cents to produce.
The word dime comes from the Old French disme (now dîme), meaning "tithe" or "tenth part", from the Latin decima [pars].In the past prices have occasionally been quoted on signage and other materials in terms of dimes, abbreviated as "d" or a lowercase "d" with a slash through it (₫) as with the cent and mill signs. As of 2019, the dime is the only United States coin in general circulation that is not denominated in terms of dollars or cents.
The Coinage Act of 1792 established the dime (spelled "disme" in the legislation), cent, and mill as subdivisions of the dollar equal to 1⁄10, 1⁄100 and 1⁄1000 dollar respectively.
The first known proposal for a decimal-based coinage system in the United States was made in 1783 by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and David Rittenhouse. Hamilton, the nation's first Secretary of the Treasury, recommended the issuance of six such coins in 1791, in a report to Congress. Among the six was a silver coin, "which shall be, in weight and value, one-tenth part of a silver unit or dollar".
From 1796 to 1837, dimes were composed of 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper, inch) to its current figure of 17.9 millimeters (0.705 inch).the value of which required the coins to be physically very small to prevent their intrinsic value being worth more than face value. Thus dimes are made small and thin. The silver percentage was increased to 90.0% with the introduction of the Seated Liberty dime; the use of a richer alloy was offset by reducing the diameter from 18.8 millimeters (0.740
With the passage of the Coinage Act of 1965, the dime's silver content was removed. Dimes from 1965 to the present are struck from a clad metal composed of outer layers of 75% copper and 25% nickel alloy, bonded to a pure copper core. Pre-1965 dimes have followed Gresham's law and vanished from ordinary currency circulation at face value. Most now trade as informal bullion coins known as junk silver, priced at some multiple of face value, which price follows the spot price of silver on commodity markets.
Starting in 1992, the U.S. Mint began issuing Silver Proof Sets annually, which contain dimes composed of the pre-1965 standard of 90% silver and 10% copper. These sets are intended solely for collectors, and are not meant for general circulation.
Since its introduction in 1796, the dime has been issued in six different major types, excluding the 1792 "disme". The name for each type (except for the Barber dime) indicates the design on the coin's obverse.
The Coinage Act of 1792, passed on April 2, 1792, authorized the mintage of a "disme", one-tenth the silver weight and value of a dollar. The composition of the disme was set at 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper. In 1792, a limited number of dismes were minted but never circulated. Some of these were struck in copper, indicating that the 1792 dismes were in fact pattern coins. The first dimes minted for circulation did not appear until 1796, due to a lack of demand for the coin and production problems at the United States Mint.
The first dime to be circulated was the Draped Bust dime, in 1796. It featured the same obverse and reverse as all other circulating coins of the time, the so-called Draped Bust/Small Eagle design. This design was the work of then-Chief Engraver Robert Scot. The portrait of Liberty on the obverse was based on a Gilbert Stuart drawing of prominent Philadelphia socialite Ann Willing Bingham, wife of noted American statesman William Bingham. The reverse design is of a small bald eagle surrounded by palm and olive branches, and perched on a cloud. Since the Coinage Act of 1792 required only that the cent and half cent display their denomination, Draped Bust dimes were minted with no indication of their value.
All 1796 dimes have 15 stars on the obverse, representing the number of U.S. states then in the Union. The first 1797 dimes were minted with 16 stars, reflecting Tennessee's admission as the 16th state. Realizing that the practice of adding one star per state could quickly clutter the coin's design, U.S. Mint Director Elias Boudinot ordered a design alteration, to feature just 13 stars (for the original Thirteen Colonies). Therefore, 1797 dimes can be found with either 13 or 16 stars.
Also designed by Robert Scot, the Heraldic Eagle reverse design made its debut in 1798. The obverse continued from the previous series, but the eagle on the reverse was changed from the widely criticized "scrawny" hatchling to a scaled-down version of the Great Seal of the United States. The Draped Bust/Heraldic Eagles series continued through 1807 (although no dimes dated 1799 or 1806 were minted). Both Draped Bust designs were composed of 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper.
The Draped Bust design was succeeded by the Capped Bust, designed by Mint Assistant Engraver John Reich. Both the obverse and reverse were changed extensively. The new reverse featured a bald eagle grasping three arrows (symbolizing strength) and an olive branch (symbolizing peace). Covering the eagle's breast is a U.S. shield with six horizontal lines and 13 vertical stripes. [ citation needed ]Also on the reverse is the lettering "10C," making it the only dime minted with the value given in cents (subsequent issues are inscribed with the words "ONE DIME"). The lack of numeric value markings on subsequent dime coins causes some confusion amongst foreign visitors, who may be unaware of the value of the coin. Also, the Capped Bust dime was the first dime to have its value written on the coin. Previous designs of the dime had no indication of its value, the way people determined its value was by its size
Capped Bust dimes minted through 1828 are known as the Large type. This is partially because they were struck without a restraining collar, which gave them a broader appearance. In 1828, Chief Engraver William Kneass introduced the close collar method of coining (which automated the process of placing reeds on a coin's edge). In addition to standardizing the diameter of coins, the new method allowed the Mint to produce thicker coins. To maintain a standard weight and alloy, the diameter of most coins was reduced. In particular, the dime was reduced in diameter from 18.8 to 18.5 millimeters. This new Capped Bust dime, which began production in 1828, is known as the Small type.There are 123 varieties known of Capped Bust Dimes.
Christian Gobrecht completed the design of the Seated Liberty dime, whose obverse was used with every circulating silver U.S. coin of the period. Mint Director Robert Maskell Patterson requested a new coin design, to be reminiscent of the Britannia image found on coinage of the United Kingdom. Chief Engraver William Kneass drew the original sketches, but suffered a stroke and was too ill to finish them or to oversee preparation of the dies. The task then fell to Gobrecht, who was promoted to Second Engraver.
The obverse features an image of Liberty sitting on a rock, wearing a dress and holding a staff with a liberty cap on top. Her right hand is balancing a shield with the inscription "LIBERTY." The reverse featured the inscription "ONE DIME," surrounded by a wreath. All Seated Liberty dimes contain 90% silver and 10% copper, and are 17.9 millimeters (0.705 inch) in diameter. This size and metal composition would continue until 1965, when silver was permanently removed from circulating dimes.
There were several minor varieties during the Seated Liberty's run. The initial design (1837) had no stars on the obverse and, further, the dates were minted in a Large Date and Small Date variety. These two types can be distinguished by noting the "3" and the "7" in the date. In the Large Date variety, the "3" has a pointed serif at top, and the horizontal element of the "7" is straight. In the Small Date variety, the "3" has a rounded serif, and there is small a knob, or bulge, in the "7" horizontal element.Only the Philadelphia Mint made both varieties. The Small Date is slightly rarer. The New Orleans Mint also made the Seated Liberty Dime in this year, but only in the Small Date variety.
Thirteen stars (symbolizing the 13 original colonies) were added to the perimeter of the obverse in 1838.These were replaced with the legend "United States of America," which was moved from the reverse in mid-1860. At the same time, the laurel wreath on the reverse was changed to a wreath of corn, wheat, maple, and oak leaves and expanded nearly to the rim of the coin. This reverse design continued through the end of the series in 1891 and was changed only slightly in 1892, when the Barber dime debuted. Another variety is the 1838–40 dime minted with no drapery underneath the left elbow of Liberty.
Arrows at the date in 1853 and 1873 indicated changes made in the coin's mass (from 2.67 grams to 2.49 grams in 1853, then to 2.50 grams in 1873). The first change was made in response to rising silver prices, while the latter alteration was brought about by the Mint Act of 1873 which, in an attempt to make U.S. coinage the currency of the world, added a small amount of mass to the dime, quarter, and half-dollar to bring their weights in line with fractions of the French 5-franc piece. The change also ensured the quarter dollar (which is valued 2.5 times the dime) weighed 2.5 times the dime (6.25g), and the half dollar (twice the value of the quarter dollar) weighed twice what the quarter dollar weighed (12.5g). In this way, a specific weight of these coins, no matter the mixture of denominations, would always be worth the same. This relation in weight and value continued in the cupronickel coins from 1965 on.
This produced the greatest rarities in the Seated Dime Series, the 1873 & 1874 Carson City Dimes, with arrows and the unique 1873 Carson City Dime without arrows.
The Barber dime is named for its designer, Charles E. Barber, who was Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint from 1879 to 1917. The design was shared with the quarter and half-dollar of the same period. Extensive internal politics surrounded the awarding of the design job, which had initially been opened to the public. A four-member committee (which included Barber), appointed by then-Mint Director James Kimball, accorded only two of more than 300 submissions an honorable mention. Kimball's successor, Edward O. Leech, decided to dispense with the committees and public design competitions and simply instructed Barber to develop a new design. It has been speculated that this is what Barber had wanted all along.
The Barber dime, as with all previous dimes, featured an image of Liberty on the obverse. She is wearing a Phrygian cap, a laurel wreath with a ribbon, and a headband with the inscription "LIBERTY". This inscription is one of the key elements used in determining the condition of Barber dimes.Liberty's portrait was inspired by two sources—French coins and medals of the period, as well as ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. The obverse also contains the long-used 13 stars (for the 13 colonies) design element. The reverse contained a wreath and inscription almost identical to the one used on the final design of the Seated Liberty dime. Dimes were produced at all four of the mints that operated during the period. While circulated coins of the entire series are readily available to collectors there is one outstanding rarity, the 1894-S Barber Dime. Twenty-four were minted, with 9 currently known.
Although most commonly referred to as the "Mercury" dime, the Winged Liberty Head does not depict the Roman messenger god. The obverse figure is a depiction of the mythological goddess Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap, a classic Western symbol of liberty and freedom, with its wings intended to symbolize freedom of thought. Designed by noted sculptor Adolph A. Weinman, the Winged Liberty Head dime is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful U.S. coin designs ever produced. millimeters) of the "Mercury" dime was unchanged from the Barber dime.The composition (90% silver, 10% copper) and diameter (17.9
Weinman (who had studied under Augustus Saint-Gaudens) won a 1915 competition against two other artists for the design job, and is thought to have modeled his version of Liberty on Elsie Kachel Stevens, wife of noted poet Wallace Stevens.The reverse design, a fasces juxtaposed with an olive branch, was intended to symbolize America's readiness for war, combined with its desire for peace. Although the fasces was later officially adopted by Benito Mussolini and his National Fascist Party, the symbol was also common in American iconography and has generally avoided any stigma associated with its usage in wartime Italy.
Soon after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, legislation was introduced by Virginia Congressman Ralph H. Daughton that called for the replacement of the Mercury dime with one bearing Roosevelt's image.The dime was chosen to honor Roosevelt partly due to his efforts in the founding of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (later renamed the March of Dimes), which originally raised money for polio research and to aid victims of the disease and their families.
Due to the limited amount of time available to design the new coin, the Roosevelt dime was the first regular-issue U.S. coin designed by a Mint employee in more than 40 years. Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock was chosen, as he had already designed a Mint presidential medal of Roosevelt.Sinnock's first design, submitted on October 12, 1945, was rejected, but a subsequent one was accepted on January 6, 1946. The dime was released to the public on January 30, 1946, which would have been Roosevelt's 64th birthday. Sinnock's design placed his initials ("JS") at the base of Roosevelt's neck, on the coin's obverse. His reverse design elements of a torch, olive branch, and oak branch symbolized, respectively, liberty, peace, and strength.
Controversy immediately ensued, as strong anti-Communist sentiment in the United States led to the circulation of rumors that the "JS" engraved on the coin was the initials of Joseph Stalin, placed there by a Soviet agent in the mint.The Mint quickly issued a statement denying this, confirming that the initials were indeed Sinnock's. The same rumor arose after the release of the Sinnock designed Franklin half dollar in April 1948.
Another controversy surrounding Sinnock's design involves his image of Roosevelt. Soon after the coin's release, it was claimed that Sinnock borrowed his design of Roosevelt from a bas relief created by African American sculptor Selma Burke, unveiled at the Recorder of Deeds Building in Washington, D.C. in September 1945. Sinnock denied this and stated that he simply utilized his earlier design on the Roosevelt medal.
With the passage of the Coinage Act of 1965, the composition of the dime changed from 90% silver and 10% copper to a clad "sandwich" of pure copper inner layer between two outer layers of cupronickel (75% copper, 25% nickel) alloy grams instead of 2.5 grams) and electrical properties (important in vending machines)—and most importantly, because it contained no precious metal.giving a total composition of 91.67% Cu and 8.33% Ni. This composition was selected because it gave similar mass (now 2.268
Since 1946 the Roosevelt dime has been minted every year. Through 1955, all three mints, Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco produced circulating coinage; production at San Francisco ended in 1955, resuming in 1968 with proof coinage only. Through 1964 "D" and "S" mintmarks can be found to the left of the torch. From 1968, the mintmarks have appeared above the date. None were used in 1965–67, and Philadelphia did not show a mintmark until 1980 (in 1982, an error left the "P" off a small number of dimes, which are now valuable). To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the design, the 1996 mint sets included a "W" mintmarked dime made at the West Point Mint.A total of 1,457,000 dimes were issued in the sets, making it the lowest mintage Roosevelt dime up to that time. Since then, the "P" mint mark 2015 reverse proof dime and "W" mint mark 2015 proof dime, minted at Philadelphia and West Point for inclusion in the March of Dimes collector set, have the lowest mintages with 75,000 pieces struck for each.
The quarter, short for quarter dollar, is a United States coin worth 25 cents, one-quarter of a dollar. It has a diameter of .955 inch (24.26 mm) and a thickness of .069 inch (1.75 mm). The coin sports the profile of George Washington on its obverse, and its reverse design has changed frequently. It has been produced on and off since 1796 and consistently since 1831.
A nickel is a five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint. Composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel, the piece has been issued since 1866. Its diameter is .835 inches (21.21 mm) and its thickness is .077 inches (1.95 mm). Due to inflation, the purchasing power of the nickel continues to drop, and currently the coin represents less than 1% of the federal hourly minimum wage. In 2018, over 1.26 billion nickels were produced at the Philadelphia and Denver mints.
The half dollar, sometimes referred to as the half for short or 50-cent piece, is a United States coin worth 50 cents, or one half of a dollar. It is the largest United States circulating coin currently produced in both size and weight, being 1.205 inches in diameter and 0.085 in (2.16 mm) in thickness, and is twice the weight of the quarter. The coin's design has undergone a number of changes throughout its history. Since 1964, the half dollar depicts the profile of President John F. Kennedy on the obverse and the Seal of the President of the United States on the reverse.
The Coinage Act or the Mint Act, passed by the United States Congress on April 2, 1792, created the United States dollar as the country's standard unit of money, established the United States Mint, and regulated the coinage of the United States. The long title of the legislation is An act establishing a mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States. This act established the silver dollar as the unit of money in the United States, declared it to be lawful tender, and created a decimal system for U.S. currency.
The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.
The Franklin half dollar is a coin that was struck by the United States Mint from 1948 to 1963. The fifty-cent piece pictures Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse. A small eagle was placed to the right of the bell to fulfill the legal requirement that half dollars depict the figure of an eagle. Produced in 90 percent silver with a reeded edge, the coin was struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints. As of April 26, 2019, the melt value of the $0.50 coin was approximately $5.46.
The Mercury dime is a ten-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from late 1916 to 1945. Designed by Adolph Weinman and also referred to as the Winged Liberty Head dime, it gained its common name because the obverse depiction of a young Liberty, identifiable by her winged Phrygian cap, was confused with the Roman god Mercury. Weinman is believed to have used Elsie Stevens, the wife of lawyer and poet Wallace Stevens, as a model. The coin's reverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace.
Charles Edward Barber was the sixth chief engraver of the United States Mint from 1879 until his death in 1917. He had a long and fruitful career in coinage, designing most of the coins produced at the mint during his time as chief engraver. He did full coin designs, and he designed about 30 medals in his lifetime. The Barber coinage were named after him. In addition, Barber designed a number of commemorative coins, some in partnership with assistant engraver George T. Morgan. For the popular Columbian half dollar, and the Panama-Pacific half dollar and quarter eagle, Barber designed the obverse and Morgan the reverse. Barber also designed the 1883 coins for the Kingdom of Hawaii, and also Cuban coinage of 1915. Barber's design on the Cuba 5 centavo coin remained in use until 1961.
The half cent was the smallest denomination of United States coin ever minted. It was first minted in 1793 and last minted in 1857. It was minted with five different designs.
The Seated Liberty portrait designs appeared on most regular-issue silver United States coinage from 1836 through 1891. The denominations which featured the Goddess of Liberty in a Seated Liberty design included the half dime, the dime, the quarter, the half dollar, and until 1873 the silver dollar. Another coin that appeared exclusively in the Seated Liberty design was the twenty cent piece. This coin was produced from 1875 to 1878, and was discontinued because it looked very similar to the quarter. Seated Liberty coinage was minted at the main United States Mint in Philadelphia, as well as the branch mints in New Orleans, San Francisco, and Carson City.
The Flowing Hair dollar was the first dollar coin issued by the United States federal government. The coin was minted in 1794 and 1795; its size and weight were based on the Spanish dollar, which was popular in trade throughout the Americas.
The Walking Liberty half dollar is a silver 50-cent piece or half dollar coin that was issued by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1947; it was designed by Adolph A. Weinman, a well-known sculptor and engraver.
In coin collecting, a key date refers to a date of a given coin series or set that is harder to obtain than other dates in the series. The next level of difficult to obtain coins in series are often referred to as semi-key dates or simply semi-keys.
The United States large cent was a coin with a face value of 1/100 of a United States dollar. Its nominal diameter was 11⁄8 inch (28.57 mm). The first official mintage of the large cent was in 1793, and its production continued until 1857, when it was officially replaced by the modern-size one-cent coin.
The Shield nickel was the first United States five-cent piece to be made out of copper-nickel, the same alloy of which American nickels are struck today. Designed by James B. Longacre, the coin was issued from 1866 until 1883, when it was replaced by the Liberty Head nickel. The coin takes its name from the motif on its obverse, and was the first five-cent coin referred to as a "nickel"—silver pieces of that denomination had been known as half dimes.
The Barber coinage consists of a dime, quarter, and half dollar designed by United States Bureau of the Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber. They were minted between 1892 and 1916, though no half dollars were struck in the final year of the series.
"Draped Bust" was the name given to a design of United States coins. It appeared on much of the regular-issue copper and silver United States coinage, 1796–1807. It was designed by engraver Robert Scot.
The numismatic history of the United States began with Colonial coins such as the pine tree shilling and paper money; most notably the foreign but widely accepted Spanish piece of eight, ultimately descended from the Joachimsthaler and the direct ancestor of the U.S. Dollar.
Flowing Hair coinage was issued in the United States between 1793 and 1795. The design was used for the first half dime, half dollar, dollar, and the first two large cents.
The Roosevelt dime is the current dime, or ten-cent piece, of the United States. Struck by the United States Mint continuously since 1946, it displays President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the obverse and was authorized soon after his death in 1945.
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