Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of America's most popular and influential Presidents. His portrait was placed on the Dime in 1946, following his death in 1945. The designs were by John R. Sinnock, whose initials "JS" appear below the tip of Roosevelt's bust on the obverse of the coins. 1964 was the last year that Dimes were struck in silver -- from 1965 on, Dime blanks were made of copper-nickel over a copper core.
From 1968 onward, mint marks appear above the date. Those struck in Philadelphia carried no mint mark until a letter P was introduced beginning in 1980. Roosevelt dimes coined at the mints in Denver and San Francisco have always been identified by letters D and S, respectively, except during the years 1965-67 when these mint marks were omitted.
The mint mark was on the back or reverse of the coin, one the left side of the torch, until 1968, when it was moved to the front or obverse, just under the date.
1960 Some Proofs are found with a Doubled Die obverse.
1963 Some Proofs are found with a Doubled Die reverse.
1964 The 9 in the date will have either a pointed or a straight "tail". Rare error coins have been found struck on the clad planchets of the 1965 and later type.
1964-D The 9 in the date will have either a pointed or a straight "tail". Some of this date are found with a Doubled Die reverse.
1968-S Struck only as Proofs and available originally only in Proof sets. A very small number were struck from dies that had no mint mark.
1975-S Struck only as Proofs and very small number were struck from dies that had no mint mark.
1979-S Struck only as Proofs and available originally only in Proof sets. Found with "Blob" and Clear mint marks, with the Clear version being the scarcer of the two.
1982-P Some of the 1982 business strike dimes were struck in error without a mint mark.
1983-S Struck only as Proofs and available originally only in Proof sets. 1983-S Proofs without S mint mark were made in error.
1996-W This is the first appearance of the West Point, New York mint mark on a United States Dime. Issued and sold originally only in Mint sets.
2004-D Look for Double Die Obverse.
ROOSEVELT DIMES A SLEEPER SERIES
By Daniel Malone
The US Mint begin minting the Roosevelt Dime design in 1946 in honor of the only four term US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, replacing the popular Liberty Head or commonly called 'Mercury Dime' that was minted from 1916-1945. And even though Franklin D. Roosevelt was a one of the most respected and honored US Presidents, the dime commemorating his Presidency and accomplishments, has become a less popular coin since the US Mint began producing the dime.
It's understandable when you consider the design is not exciting and boast mintages in the millions and sometimes billions, and barely captures the life, accomplishments and allure of Franklin Roosevelt himself. Being nothing more than a side-profile portrait on the obverse and a torch flanked by olive and oak branches on the reverse. It seems the Roosevelt Dimes from 1946-1964 are destined for the junk silver designation of lots and rolls, and the clad of 1965-Present as nothing more than a way to make change in every day transactions.
However, such is not always the case because Roosevelt Dimes do have a chance of becoming valuable and some already are. A select few Roosevelt Dime dates have low mintages and have a chance of gaining a premium in the coming years, and this should not be a surprise to experienced collectors.
In example, a 1998-P 'raw' Roosevelt Dime, multiple strike, bonding two coins, mint error, sold recently for $1,700 by Superior Galleries at ebay, and many high grade (MS68), Full Torch examples trade for premiums in the the hundreds of dollars. Also, don't forget the values for Cameo and Deep Cameo silver proofs and Special Mint Set (SMS) examples, graded so by the top tier companies like PCGS, that trade for hundreds to even thousands of dollars!
Obviously, most Roosevelt Dimes on the market don't bring much of a premium beyond their silver value, but a 'cherry-picking' collector can reap rewards by learning important facts, mintages figures and how to identify the higher grade Roosevelt Dimes.
Let's look at a few facts on the mintages of certain 'Rosy', as some collectors affectionately call the Roosevelt Dime. In 1946 the US Mint reports a mintage of 255,250,000 of the first year of issue, and this does not make the first year rare at all, but in some years after, the dime saw much lower mintages. The San Francisco Mint mintages of 1946 is much lower, coming in at 27,900,000, but this still isn't considered a low mintage for a coin that crosses the modern coinage era.
The 1949-S date boast an even lower mintage of 13,510,000, but this still hasn't propelled the date to high premium levels. It's not until you see the mintage figure for the proof 1950 date, of only 51,386, that you begin to realize that maybe the business strike Rosies are not the area most collectors should concentrate on, but the proof issues. The 1950 proof is such a low mintage that it's a surprise that many of the coins can be purchased for much less than $100. A bargain that no collector should pass up!
Most other type coins with a mintage of less than 52,000 would brings premiums of thousands of dollars, making this a great opportunity for collectors to purchase low mintage Roosevelt Dimes for very low premiums.
The 1950 Proof Dime isn't the only date for consideration either, the 1951 Proof mintage is 57,500, the 1952 proof is 81,980, and the 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 proof Roosevelt Dimes all have mintages less than 1,000,000. It's a fact that most of the Roosevelt Dime proof mintages are lower than a million and with the silver planchet proofs as the most desirable for the metal content alone. Considering the lofty mintages of most Rosies these mintage figures should turn a few heads, but they haven't made much of a splash in the world of numismatics. Which is a good thing for collectors wanting to get in early.
Another collectors item is the 1996-W date-all other Roosevelt Dimes where minted at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints respectively-but in 1996 the first Roosevelt was minted at the West Point Mint with a mintage of only 1,457,000. It was only available in Mint Sets and was poorly struck, and single high grade examples can bring a small premium, but still under the range of what a low mintage example should realize.
Another little know secret about the Roosevelt Dime involves a more recent business strike year 2000. The new Millennium realized mintages of 1,842,500 for the 2000-P and 1,818,700 for the 2000-D Roosevelt Dime, and that year saw the lowest mintage business strikes for the entire series for any year! So, as coin collectors can see, the potential for a forward movement in premiums isn't just a fantasy thought.
It must also be taken into consideration that if the mint, decides in the future, to change the design or start a new Roosevelt Dime promotion, that the value of this dime will increase dramatically, and the informed collector who did their homework and selectively collected certain dimes in quantity, and at present bargain values, then they can possibly reap great rewards for their effort in the future. If you look at the coin market as a whole then it's not impossible, and highly likely, that Roosevelt Dime values will increase.
1946-1964 (Business Strikes & Proofs) and 1992-S-Present (Proofs Only)
Weight: 38.6 grains (2.50 grams)
Mint mark: None (for Philadelphia, PA) just to the left of the base of the torch on the reverse and was moved to the obverse, under the date.
1965-1967 (SMS) and all proof and mint sets until 1992-S black box proof sets when silver dimes were minted again.
Designer: John R. Sinnock
Diameter: 17.9 millimeters
Metal content: Nickel plated, copper core, .9167 copper, .833 nickel
Weight: 35 grains (2.268 grams)
Mint mark: None (for Philadelphia, PA) just to the left of the base of the torch on the reverse
Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions
Mint mark location until 1964, no mint marks 1965-1967, mint marks resumed in 1968 but punched onto the obverse, under the date. Mid 1980's the mint mark was moved to the obverse and the "P" mint mark begin to appear.