Guide to Dimes Values
Half dimes were commonly circulated and used in the United States until the time of their replacement by the base metal nickel. Read More
Early U.S. dimes, originally called "dismes," were one of the fundamental circulating coins of the post-colonial era. Read More
Charles E. Barber was one of the most influential chief engravers of the U.S. Mint, creating many coins with his name on them and many without. Read More
The Winged Liberty design created by Adolph A. Weinman immediately picked up the moniker "Mercury" due to its appearance. Read More
The dime, originally called the disme, is the 10-cent issue of U.S. coinage. There were also half dimes that were 5 cents. These small coins have been a mainstay of U.S. currency from the very beginning. The dime was originally made of 90% Silver, and it kept that construction all the way through 1964 when it was changed to a cupro-nickel alloy.
The small size of the dime and half dime stems from their original composition of Silver, as to be worth 5 or 10 cents in intrinsic value they had to have a very small amount of Precious Metal.
Early half dimes changed frequently, with the Flowing Hair design running from 1796 to 1805 and the Draped Bust running from 1796 to 1805 with two different reverses. The Capped Bust design ran from 1829 to 1837 and the Liberty Seated had the longest run from 1837 to 1873. Half dimes had a few adjustments to their weight and design made through the run of the Liberty Seated design, which created a few unique patterns.
Early dime designs were very similar to half dimes, and the “Liberty Bust” designs were the early examples with the Draped Bust running from 1796 to 1807 and the Capped Bust running from 1809 to 1837. These dimes were more susceptible to mint errors than some later coins, which means error coins are frequent in relation to the surviving population. These coins were not minted in large quantities, though, and most of this early coinage is hard to find today.
The Liberty Seated dime succeeded these, with several variations like the half dimes due to weight and other concerns. Silver’s cost had moved far enough to necessitate adjustments to the size of the coin to keep the intrinsic value in line. These ran from 1837 to 1891.
The Barber dime was created by famed U.S. Mint chief engraver and designer Charles Edward Barber. In his lifetime, he was responsible for creating a wide variety of coins for both the United States and other countries. Barber’s designs are practical enough to stand up well to the rigors of regular circulation, which meant a higher survival rate for the coins he designed. This design ran from 1892 to 1916.
After Barber’s dimes, sculptors were commissioned for new coin designs. Adolph Weinman’s design was chosen for the Winged Liberty or “Mercury” dime, which ran from 1916 through 1945. Because of the small size of the coin, the design was kept as simple and large as possible. The face on the coin was said to resemble Mercury, which caused the colloquial name. There are very few key date collectible years for these coins.
From 1946 through the present day, the design with Franklin D. Roosevelt on the obverse and a torch with sprigs of olive and oak on the back has been current. The Roosevelt was made with 90% Silver through 1964, then changed to cupro-nickel over a copper core. There are a few more valuable issues but these are mostly valued for the Silver content in pre-1964 coins.
Newer Roosevelt dimes do not have a lot of collectible value, but the 1964D doubled die reverse error goes for a decent amount of money. Mercury dimes are one of the most popular coin series in the world with collectors, though the Mercury does not have many key dates.
Older series may have dates that go for very high prices from non-standard mints or in high condition. For example, the 1871 and 1872 Carson City Liberty Seated are highly prized by collectors. Dimes are a common coin for collectors to get into.
The Price Guide
The PCGS Price Guide prices apply only to PCGS-graded coins. The PCGS Price Guide is a guide to assist the coin buying public in determining values for all important United States rare coins. The prices listed in the PCGS Price Guide are average dealer asking prices for PCGS-graded coins. The prices are compiled from various sources including dealer ads in trade papers, dealer fixed price lists and website offerings, significant auctions, and activity at major coin shows.Learn More