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How to Identify Silver Roosevelt Dimes

Updated on January 7, 2013
One of the most common pieces of Silver you will find is the Roosevelt Dime.
One of the most common pieces of Silver you will find is the Roosevelt Dime.

The Roosevelt Dime:

If you would like a more general article discussing all American Silver coins then I have another article available here.

The Roosevelt Dime, also known as "Roosies" and "Velts" more loosely, is a common piece of Silver that you will come by as you are collecting coins or investing in physical Silver. The high availability due to high mintage numbers, and their generally young age makes these a very common coin to have. Like all other coins, there are key years and mints that are worth more money for their numismatic (collectible) value, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

Note for Beginners: If at any point throughout this article you are confused by a term, feel free to bookmark my article on the various terms and phrases that are common in Silver and Gold investing. It can be found here.

The Date is located at the base of Roosevelt's neckline.
The Date is located at the base of Roosevelt's neckline.

Identifying Silver Roosevelt Dimes:

Silver Roosevelt Dimes were minted between the years of 1946 - 1964. They were the next Dime in line after the "Mercury" Dime. There were Silver Dimes minted after 1964 but these were restricted to mint sets which are collectible sets issues by the US Mint each year. These particular coins come with a premium that will exceed the value of their Silver so it makes them less attractive as a Silver investment.

You may be thinking: "But I see new versions of this coin every year!" I was being specific and used the term "Silver." The current circulating Roosevelt Dime no longer contains Silver and has not contained Silver since 1964 due to "The Coinage Act of 1965" which I will discuss later in this article.

Silver Roosevelt Dimes are very easy to identify, all years and all mints between 1946 and 1964. If you are unfamiliar with a Dime, the date is located on the front of the coin at the base of former U.S. President Roosevelt's neckline. The image located just above and to the right of this paragraph should help illustrate the location of the date on the coin. This is the easiest and most effective way to identify a Silver Roosevelt Dime from a standard post-1965 issue.

Click To Enlarge
Click To Enlarge

Composition:

The Silver Roosevelt Dime has a very straightforward composition.  The Silver Dime is composed of 90% Silver and 10% Copper much like a lot of the other "90%" coins, also known as "Junk Silver."  This means that each Silver Roosevelt Dime contains 2.25 grams of Silver.

The Coinage Act of 1965:

The Coinage Act of 1965 had severe implications on all American Silver coins at the time. It completely removed Silver from future minted coins, with the exception of Half-Dollars where the 90% Silver content was diminished to 40%! In all fairness they did mint 90% American Silver coins until 1966, but they were dated as 1964. They did this until they were able to produce enough of the "clad" coins. This was in direct response to people hoarding circulating coins due to the higher price of Silver. If only we knew in 1960 what we know now!

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