Roosevelt Silver Dimes

Posted by on January 10, 2012

Coin Weight (g) Composition Silver Melt Value Full Melt Value
Roosevelt (1946-1964) 2.5 90% silver, 10% copper
1963 Roosevelt Silver Dime

1963 Roosevelt Silver Dime

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Silver Dime came into being on time for the remembrance of his birthday on January 30th, 1946.  The US’ only four term president had passed away the year before on April 12th, 1945.  The dime was selected mostly because FDR’s association with the “March of Dimes”.  FDR was struck by polio as an adult and managed to survive, however he was never able to walk on his own ever since.

In 1926 he started the non-profit Georgia Warm Springs Foundation to allow others to hopefully find help from the springs therapeutic effects.  In 1938 he founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP).  During a fundraiser the celebrity singer Eddie Cantor had cracked a joke.  Cantor’s urging of the listeners to send their dimes to FDR was taken seriously.  During the following days and weeks 2,680,000 dimes were sent to the White House.  Quickly the “March of Dimes” replaced NFIP.

The FDR is still in use today over sixty years later.  There have been almost no changes in the appearance to John R. Sinnock’s design of the Roosevelt dime.  The most significant was in 1964 when the Roosevelt Silver Dime (and silver quarter) were converted the current to nickel clad alloy.  At this time the mint mark was moved from the reverse to the obverse (just above the date and below the base of FDR’s head).

From 1946 to 1964 the Roosevelt Silver Dime was composed of 90% silver and 10% copper.  These weigh 2.5g and are 17.9mm in diameter with a Reeded edge.

The obverse has Roosevelt’s head facing left and “LIBERTY” encircling the left rim.  In smaller lettering on the lower left under his chin is “IN GOD” stacked over “WE TRUST” the date is on the lower right just under his neck line.  “JS”, the designer’s initials (not Joseph Stalin’s as rumors had suggested), is in even smaller letters is just left of the date.

The reverse has a torch in the center with an olive branch on the left and an oak branch on its right.  Inserted precariously across the mid-lower portion is “E PLURIBUS UNUM”.  “. ONE DIME .” encircles the bottom of the coin with “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircling the top.  A mint mark if applicable will be just left of bottom of the torch.  “D” is used for Denver and “S” is for San Francisco.  None is used for Philadelphia, however in 1980 “P” started being used, and still is for Philadelphia.

Although the nickel/copper clad copper core was adopted in 1965 for the Roosevelt dime, the Mint has issued the silver version for collectors in their Uncirculated and Proof sets.  Most of the circulated silver coins do not have much numismatic value compared to their melt value concerning their silver content.  Even the Mint State coins are available enough to put together a series.  There were some interesting irregularities in this series among them would be 1964D which has a double die reverse.  Some of the MS65s and better can get a little pricy, and so are some of the Roosevelt Silver Dime Proofs (which weren’t struck until 1950).

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