One Dime: Coin Value And History

The smallest of the U.S. coins, a silver metal valued at 10-cents, is inscribed with the words, “ONE DIME”, but that’s not it’s original name. It used to be called the disme!

One Dime On Lesson Board

The use of this coin was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. It has featured designs of the female figure of Liberty in various poses.

Since 1946, the dime’s design shows Franklin D. Roosevelt facing left. After his death, it was decided to honor Roosevelt this way due to his support of the March of Dimes for three decades. 

Picture of Dime Front and Back
Front and back of a dime

The other characteristics of the 10 cent coin include:

Front of the Dime (aka heads):

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “P” or “D” – Made in either the Philadelphia or Denver mint facility
  • Year – When the coin was minted
Front (heads side) of a dime
Front of a dime

Back of a Dime (aka tails):

  • In order, it shows an olive branch, torch, and oak branch which symbolizes, respectively, peace, liberty, and strength & independence.
  • “E PLURIBUS UNUM” – Latin for “Out of many, one”
  • “ONE DIME”
Back (tails side) of a dime
Back of a dime

Though it is the smallest coin in diameter, width, and weight, it is not the least valuable. 


Composition: 91.67% Copper & 8.33% Nickel
Value:0.10 of a Dollar
Diameter:0.705 in. (17.91 mm)
Thickness:0.053 in. (1.35 mm)
Weight:2.268 g
Edge:118 Reeds
Depicts:President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Engraver:John Sinnock

Who sculpted the dime?

The design on the obverse is credited to the engraver, John Ray Sinnock; however, it is believed that he was inspired by the relief sculpture of President Franklin D. Roosevelt by Selma Burke.

Ms. Burke is an African-American sculptor who won a national competition for the commission of the sculpture. Only 2 of the 3 requested live sketches were completed before Roosevelt’s passing.

Selma Burke's relief sculpture of  Franklin D. Roosevelt that inspired the sculpture on the dime
Selma Burke’s “FDR Bronze Plaque” on Flickr by David

What is a dime worth?

one dime in cents
One dime in cents

The “ONE CENT” coin, also known as the penny, is larger than the dime, but is worth less than it. A dime is worth 10 cents. 

Two nickels and 10 cents
2 nickles make a dime

Two “FIVE CENTS” coins (aka nickel) add up to make 10 cents.

The dime is so small because it was originally made of 1/10th of the silver in a dollar bill. Thus, ten of them make a whole dollar.

Why is 10 cents called a dime?

Originally, a dime was called the Old French word “disme” meaning tenth. It derives from the Latin term “decima”. The name fits because a dime is 1/10th of a dollar. Eventually, the “s” was dropped and it became the dime. 

What is a rare dime?

In 2006, a dime was sold at an auction in Tampa, Florida for $1,997,500. It is the 1894-S dime that was minted in San Francisco. This particular coin is rare because only 24 of its kind were made.

Check your piggy banks! There are various other coins in circulation that could be somewhere in your home! These dimes worth money could make someone rich!

According to CoinTrackers, some of the most valuable dimes are the 1874 CC Liberty Seated, 1872 CC Liberty Seated, 1871 CC Liberty Seated, 1873 CC Liberty Seated Dime, and 1916 D Mercury.

10 Cents Coin Value

There are different types of currency in every country and they each have a different worth. In other countries, a dime would equal other amounts.

For example, 1 dime (10 cents) in USD is about equal to a 10 euro cent coin (EUR) that is used in various countries. However, 0.10 USD is equal to about 7.52 Indian rupees (INR) because it has more worth.

11 thoughts on “One Dime: Coin Value And History”

  1. I have so many coins with error’s. I posted them for sale on ksl, and so many ppl think I should either sell them at face value, to whatever they want to pay regardless of the value.


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