YEARS: 1796-1799 | 1800-1824 | 1825-1849 | 1850-1874 | 1875-1899 | 1900-1924 | 1925-1949 | 1950-1974 | 1975-1999 | 2000-
1795) && ($year < 1808 ) ): $qty=1; $info='The design of the 1796-97 dime parallels that of the contemporary half dime. The obverse depicts Liberty with flowing hair, a ribbon behind her head, and drapery covering her neckline. LIBERTY is above and the date is below. Thirteen obverse stars are found on the 1796, while the 1797 features either 13 or 16 obverse stars. The reverse consists of an open wreath, tied with a bow at the bottom, enclosing a small eagle perched on a cloud, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounding. No indication of denomination or value appears.

Examples of the Draped Bust, Small Eagle type are most often encountered in lower grades from About Good to Fine. Very Fine and Extremely Fine pieces are progressively more difficult. Occasionally an AU or Uncirculated 1796 dime will be found, but very few pieces dated 1797 exist in Mint State or close to it. Mint-caused adjustment marks are often seen, as are areas of normal light striking. These pieces were meant strictly for utilitarian use, and no thought was given to producing pieces for collectors.

The dimes minted from 1798 through 1807 display the Draped Bust obverse as preceding, except that the star count is now fixed at 13, with seven to the left and six to the right. The reverse is new, and is designated as the Heraldic Eagle style. Patterned after the Great Seal of the United States, it features an eagle with a shield on its breast, holding in its beak a ribbon inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM and grasping in its talon a bundle of arrows and an olive branch. Above is an arc of clouds under which is a group of stars. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds. There is no indication of denomination or value on the coin. A number of different die varieties exist within this range, including the overdates 1798/7 and examples with different numbers of stars above the eagle on the reverse.

In keeping with other early silver coins, examples of the Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle type most often seen are in grades from About Good through Fine. Availability decreases as the grade increases. There are however, a number of Uncirculated pieces of 1805 and 1807 known. Many of this type show Mint-caused adjustment marks. Areas of light striking are the rule, not the exception, and nearly all pieces have some flatness of stars or other details. This tendency towards poor strikes increased as the series progressed, so that by the end of the period, most pieces displayed some weakness.'; break; case ( ($year > 1807) && ($year < 1837 ) ): $qty=1; $info='In 1809 the Capped Bust dime made its appearance. The design is similar to that used on early half dollars beginning in 1807. The obverse features Liberty with her hair in a cloth cap secured by a band inscribed LIBERTY, with tresses flowing down to her shoulders. Her bust is draped in a cloth or gown secured by a clasp or brooch. Seven stars are to the left, and six to the right, the date is below. The reverse depicts an eagle perched on a branch and holding arrows, E PLURIBUS UNUM is on a scroll above and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and 10C. appear around the border. The planchet diameter is approximately 18.8 mm, which distinguishes it from a small planchet (approximately 17.9 mm) format, struck in a closed collar, introduced in 1828.

Coinage during the 1809-1827 years was intermittent; some years were skipped. Specimens of commoner dates are readily encountered in various grades from Good to Very Fine. Even Extremely Fine and AU coins can be found without too much difficulty. Uncirculated pieces, particularly finer examples of these, are scarce. Striking is apt to vary from issue to issue, and finding one with excellent definition of detail is not always easy.

The Capped Bust, Small Dentil type is an adaptation of the previous 1809-1827 style and is the same except for certain minor modifications. The diameter was reduced slightly (about 1mm) and the border has denticles spaced closer together than on the previous type (although some transitional pieces have the old denticle style). The stars are slightly smaller and there is some subtle restyling.

Dimes of the Capped Bust, Small Dentil type were made from 1828 thorough 1837 inclusive. No dates are rarities, although there are several elusive varieties within the range. Examples are available in all grades from Good through Uncirculated, with Very Good to Very Fine being the most often seen. Uncirculated pieces, particularly in the higher states, may take some searching but are available for a price.'; break; case ( ($year == 1837) ): $qty=2; $info='The year 1837 saw the introduction of the Seated Liberty Dime, and a phase-out of the Capped Bust type, meaning that both types were minted in 1837. The Seated Liberty theme on the Dime lasted until 1891, and was also present on the U.S. half dime, quarter, half dollar, and silver dollar.'; break; case ( ($year > 1837) && ($year < 1892 ) ): $qty=1; $info='The first Liberty Seated dime variety is without obverse stars and closely parallels the half dime of the same era. Indeed, the mintage was accomplished similarly: pieces were struck only at the Philadelphia Mint in 1837 and only at the New Orleans Mint in 1838. Some 682,500 were struck at the former facility and 408,034 at the latter. The device consists of Miss Liberty seated on a rock, holding in her left hand a liberty cap on a pole, and holding a shield with her right. The date is below. As attractive as this cameo-like motif is to collectors today, Mint officials did not consider it to be desirable, and it was discontinued shortly thereafter.

The reverse displays an open wreath enclosing ONE DIME, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounding.

The type set enthusiast will find that examples of the No Stars dime are readily available in grades from Good through Very Fine or so, with the 1838-O being a bit more expensive. Extremely Fine and AU coins are also encountered with regularity, less so for 1838-O. Uncirculated pieces, when found, are nearly always dated 1837. Those dated 1838-O are considerably scarcer.

In 1838, thirteen stars were added to the obverse of the Liberty Seated motif. This style was continued through 1859, plus 1860 at the San Francisco Mint only. The reverse is similar to the preceding but the wreath on the later issues is slightly heavier. Early issues lack drapery at Miss Liberty’s elbow.

The type set collector has their choice of numerous varieties within this span, including a number of New Orleans and San Francisco pieces. While issues such as 1844, 1846 and certain San Francisco pieces are rare, enough common issues exist that no difficulty will be experienced in acquiring a typical example from Good to Extremely Fine grade. AU and Uncirculated pieces are slightly harder to find, though by no means can be called “rare.”

As is the case with half dimes, certain dimes of 1853, and all those dated 1854 and 1855 have arrows at the date to signify a reduction in weight, and are considered a separate type.

As a counter to widespread hoarding of silver coins in the early 1850s when the silver content of the dime (as well as the other circulating silver coins) exceeded its face value, the weight of the dime was reduced from 41.25 grains to 38.40 grains. To signify this change, an arrowhead was placed on both sides of the date. Otherwise, the Liberty Seated design remains the same as used from 1838 through early 1853. Large quantities were produced of the 1853 with arrows Philadelphia Mint issues; a coinage in excess of 12 million. Lesser quantities were made of other issues, Philadelphia and San Francisco pieces, through 1855.

The type set collector can easily acquire a specimen of the With Arrows type in any desired grade from Good through Extremely Fine or AU. Uncirculated pieces are a bit tougher, but due to the huge mintage, are certainly obtainable without much searching.

Like the half dime, the dime underwent a design change in 1860. The Liberty Seated motif was retained on the obverse, but the stars were removed, and in their place, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, formerly on the reverse, was added. The reverse wreath was restyled to a larger format, enclosing the denomination expressed as ONE DIME. This style was produced continuously from 1860 thorough 1891. A number of scarce issues were made during that span, including Carson City issues of the early 1870s. Dimes of 1873 and 1874 again appeared with arrowheads flanking the date, this time to signify a slight increase in the weight.

Common dates of the Liberty Seated with Legend dime are readily available in all grades from Good through Uncirculated. Even superb pieces can be located without too much effort. Proofs were struck for collectors and are available for the various Philadelphia Mint issues. Of all Liberty Seated coins in the 1870s through the 1890s more dimes survive, by far, than quarters, half dollars or dollars.

In 1873, the authorized weight of the dime was raised slightly from 38.4 grains to 38.58 grains, the latter figure equaling exactly 2.5 grams. To signify the change, small arrowheads were placed to the left and right of the date on the dime (as well as the quarter and half dollar). Dimes minted in 1873 prior to the change, appear without arrows. The second With Arrows format was employed from the latter part of 1873 and all of 1874. After that time, the weight remained the same but the arrows were discontinued. The design otherwise remained unchanged.

Sufficient quantities of business strikes were made so that any numismatist should have little difficulty locating coins in any grade from Good through AU. Uncirculated pieces are available, but in only about half the quantity of the earlier 1853-55 Arrows type. Survivors of the Proof coinage, which totaled 1,500 coins for the two years, can be found although superb examples are scarce. Within the business strike mintage, the Carson City issues are low mintage, and tough to locate in any grade. They are prohibitively rare in Uncirculated condition.'; break; case ( ($year > 1891) && ($year < 1916 ) ): $qty=1; $info=' In 1892, the dime, quarter and half dollar denominations were redesigned. A Liberty Head motif common to all three denominations made its appearance the same year. Known as the Barber dime (named after the designer Charles E. Barber) the ten-cent denomination featured on the obverse Miss Liberty facing right, her hair in a Phrygian cap and wearing a laurel wreath, with the word LIBERTY in tiny letters in a band above her forehead. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds, and the date is below. The reverse is of the same design used earlier and features a large wreath enclosing ONE DIME. There was no room for the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on the coin, so it was omitted. It is not generally realized that the obverse design of the dime differs from that of the quarter and half dollar, in that the latter denominations have stars around the obverse periphery.

While there are a number of scarcities and rarities in the 1892-1916 series, the exceedingly rare 1894-S dime being famous among them, there are enough common dates that the type set collector will encounter no difficulty acquiring an example in any desired grade from Good to AU. After the ultra-rare 1894-S, the scarce 1895-O will be the date collector’s biggest challenge. Uncirculated pieces are elusive, although hardly rare, while superb Uncirculated coins are more difficult to find. Proofs were minted each year from 1892 to 1915 for collectors, and these can be obtained with some searching.'; break; case ( ($year == 1916) ): $qty=2; $info='In 1916, a new Dime design was introduced to replace the old Barber design that had been in use since 1892. This means that both designs were minted in 1916 as they phased out the old design and replaced it with the new design throughout the year.

The new dime was designed by A.A. Weinman, and featured a portrait of Liberty facing left, wearing a winged cap. Because of the resemblance to the Roman god, Mercury, the coin became known popularly as the "Mercury Head" Dime. The reverse blends a Roman fasces (ax surrounded by a tied bundle of sticks) and an olive branch, indicating America\'s military readiness but also their desire for peace. The Mercury Head Dime series is one of the most popular in all of American numismatics. Apart from the 1916-D and 1942 overdates, most dates can be obtained with little difficulty. However, several of the dates are extremely rare in high grade. The most desirable issues are those with Full Split Bands on the reverse, which means all of the bands that hold the fasces together on the reverse must be clearly and completely separated. While much attention is focused on the central bands, the bands on the ends of the fasces must be separated, as well. Again, many dates are extremely rare in Gem condition with Full Split Bands.'; break; case ( ($year > 1916) && ($year < 1946 ) ): $qty=1; $info='The Mercury dime is a ten-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1945. Designed by Adolph Weinman and also referred to as the Winged Liberty Head dime, it gained its common name as the obverse depiction of a young Liberty, identifiable by her winged Phrygian cap, was confused with the Roman god Mercury. Weinman is believed to have used Elsie Stevens, the wife of lawyer and poet Wallace Stevens, as a model. The coin\'s reverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace.

By 1916, the dime, quarter, and half dollar designed by Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber had been struck for 25 years, and could be replaced by the Treasury, of which the Mint is a part, without Congressional authorization. Mint officials were under the misapprehension that the designs had to be changed, and held a competition among three sculptors, in which Barber, who had been in his position for 36 years, also took part. Weinman\'s designs for the dime and half dollar were selected.

Although the new coin\'s design was admired for its beauty, the Mint made modifications to it upon learning that vending machine manufacturers were having difficulties making the new dime work in their devices. The coin continued to be minted until 1945, when the Treasury ordered that a new design, featuring recently deceased president Franklin Roosevelt, take its place.'; break; case ( ($year > 1945) ): $qty=1; $info='The Roosevelt dime replaced the Winged Liberty or “Mercury” dime in 1946. The reason for its creation was to honor President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who guided our nation not only through the Great Depression years, but through the dark years of World War II as well. Designed by one John R. Sinnock (who also designed the Franklin half dollar two years later), there was a minor scandal associated with his initials on the Roosevelt dime. With his initial, “J.S” appearing on the dime at the base of Roosevelt’s bust, a story went around that the initials were placed there by a Russian agent residing in the United States, as a veiled salute to Joseph Stalin!

From the start, mintages were high for the Roosevelt dime. Mintages ranged from the tens of millions to the hundreds of millions. One of the scarcest mintages for a circulation-issue Roosevelt dime was 13.5 million, for the 1949-S. Because of the consistent high production, no Roosevelt dime is rare. After the 1949-S, the collecting public got briefly excited over the 1955 mintages– the 1955-P had a mintage of just 12.8 million, the 1955-D at 13.9 million and the 1955-S at 18.5 million. But because so many people were on the lookout for 1955 dimes, the 1955-P in uncirculated, only retails $3.15 today, while the 1955-D and 1955-S both retail for around $2 in mint-state!

Other “high-priced” Roosevelt dimes would include the 1949-P (retails $29 in UNC), the 1950-S (retails $40 in UNC), and the 1951-S (retails $15 in UNC). Most dates, even the older ones of the 1950\'s and early 1960\'s, retail only $1-$3 in basic mint-state condition!

There was only one major change in the Roosevelt dime series, it had nothing to do with the design. From 1946 through 1964, all Roosevelt dimes were struck in 90% silver. After 1965, they were struck in copper-nickel clad. Amazingly, the mint-state CLAD issues of 1965 to present, retail for about the same in mint-state condition as do most of the silver 1950\'s and 1960\'s Roosevelts!

There IS one thing that makes the Roosevelt dime unique among all other U.S. coin types ever struck– at least the ones struck for circulation. The Roosevelt dime is the one and only U.S. circulation-issue coin type to boast “The Big W”. I’m talking about the West Point mintmark.

Yes, only the Roosevelt dime – not the cent, not the nickel, not the quarter, not the half dollar, not the dollar coin – was ever struck with the West Point mintmark of “W.” A couple of other U.S. commemorative coins and special bullion coins have that mintmark, but again, the Roosevelt dime is the only U.S. Mint CIRCULATION coin, to ever bear a “W” mintmark. Bear in mind though, these 1995-W and 1996-W Roosevelt dimes were not actually struck FOR circulation– they were part of special Mint and Proof sets. But that does not take away from the fact that the Roosevelt dime is a circulation-issue coin. The 1995-W (mint-state) retails for $10, while the 1996-W (Proof) retails for $25.

Two questions may come to mind at this point. One, how much longer will the Roosevelt dime be with us? At this writing, there are no concrete plans to retire the Roosevelt dime, but with as many changes in U.S. coins as we’ve seen in the last ten year, a change may come sooner than we realize. The drum is beating ever louder for wholesale U.S. coin design changes across the board!

Secondly, will values ever rise for the under-appreciated Roosevelt dime? Obviously, the best chance for that happening, would be if the series did come to an end. Then, there would be a movement of dime collectors to complete full-sets of Roosevelt dimes. But then, if there aren’t that many Roosevelt dime collectors to begin with, then there won’t be much demand to push up prices– especially if supply considers to overwhelm demand. It seems that collectors much prefer the more beautiful Mercury dime, a dime series that’s 90% silver for ALL dates! Or they prefer the older, classic silver dimes: the Seated Liberty dimes, or the Barber dimes. Who knows if the Roosevelt dime will EVER rise above the status of perennial “sleeper?”'; break; } // End the switch statement echo '

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