What’s In A Dime?

By | January 10, 2016

rare dime

Rare 1894-S Barber Dime (Courtesy Heritage Auctions via Fox News)

Dateline January 9, 2016: What’s in a dime? Or, more precisely, what’s a dime worth?

  • What’s in a dime?:  It depends on the dime.

Common Modern American Dimes

Roosevelt Dime

Modern US Dime: Silver Color but No Silver Content

Since 1965, all US dimes are made of a cheap alloy that contains no silver. These dimes consist of 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel and weigh 2.268 grams. According to Coinflation, the “melt value” of these dimes is $0.0109 as of January 9, 2016. So, chances are the dimes that may be in your pocket right now may be pretty worthless! Modern coinage that is not made up of silver or gold is part of the current Fiat Currency system of money.

Pre-1965 US Dimes

Mercury Dime

Mercury Dime -A Great Collectible Coin

Prior to 1965, US dimes were composed of 90% silver. Silver is a precious metal and was the basis for the value of the dime up until that time. Today (Jan. 9, 2016),  the melt value of a 90% silver US dime is $1.01 according to Coinflation. That’s 10 times the face value! Hmm, do you have any of these?

Canadian Silver Dimes

Canadian dimes were made up 80% silver up until the mid 1960’s. Like their American counterparts, Canada then shifted to a Fiat Currency system and removed silver from their dimes. Today, the melt value of a Canadian 80% silver dime is US$ 0.84 (from Coinflation). Not bad at all!

Rare Dimes

Mercury Dime Key Date

Mercury Dime Key Date

Now we are talking about big bucks. There are a some very rare dimes where only a few are known in existence, whether because only a few were ever minted or because many of them were melted down, or both.

Recently a very rare dime was sold at auction for almost $2 million. According to a Fox News article, the high bidder for a 1894-S Barber Dime payed $1,997,500 for this coin at a Heritage Auction in Tampa, Florida on Jan 7, 2016. Only 24 of these particular dimes were minted, and only 9 are known to exist today. Now that’s a real rare dime. What’s in a dime? In this case almost $2,000,000!

There’s quite an interest in finding some of the other specimens of the 1894-S rarity. According the the Fox report, Heritage Auctions is offering a $10,000 reward to be the first to see and examine other previously unreported examples of this dime. Got one in your desk drawer?

Where to buy Silver Dimes, Rare or Otherwise

Perhaps you would like to own some “real dimes”, ones made of silver and not just a cheap alloy. Take a look at eBay and Amazon for your purchases of silver dimes. You will find very good prices at these outlets because they do such a large volume of business.

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