Having led the United States through nearly all of the Great Depression and World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was hugely admired and respected by the people of America. So much so, in fact, he is the only political leader to have won four elections and is still regarded as one of the three greatest U.S. Presidents who ever lived. When he sadly passed away in April 1945, it was only right that legislation authorized the replacement of the Mercury Dime with a coin depicting our 32nd President.
On the obverse of the Roosevelt Dime is a portrait of President Roosevelt, facing left and looking towards the inscription LIBERTY. The engraving IN GOD WE TRUST is displayed to the left and across from the date which is on the right. Next to the beginning of the date and by the cut-off of the bust are the designer’s initials JS. The reverse features an upright torch, with an olive branch on the left and an oak branch on the right. All three designs elements split up the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Other reverse markings include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE DIME.
Unlike previous years when the Mint held contests to find artists for new coin designs, chief engraver John R. Sinnock was immediately assigned the task of designing the Roosevelt Dime. This was down to the fact that Sinnock had previously created a medal featuring President Roosevelt and because there wasn’t much time to get the coin ready for release on the late president’s birthday.
The Dime was the obvious choice for honoring President Roosevelt, mainly because he had been the founder of a non-profit organization called the March of Dimes. Previously known as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, the March of Dimes was set up to aid victims of polio. Roosevelt had been afflicted with polio himself, so he understood how troublesome it was to live with the condition. The title “March of Dimes” actually came from the organization’s annual fundraising event, which led thousands of children in America to donate a dime to help other kids fight polio.
From the moment the Roosevelt Dime was released, people started to suggest that Sinnock’s initials were those of Joseph Stalin. As soon as the Mint heard about these claims, a press release was sent out stating that the initials belonged to the coin’s designer, John Sinnock. It seems odd that anyone would truly believe that the United States Mint would let such a thing happen but people were still feeling paranoid after the ending of World War II. A similar rumor started in 1948 when Sinnock’s initials “JRS” was placed on the Franklin Half Dollar.
All Roosevelt Dimes produced from 1946 to 1964 are made of 90% silver and 10% copper. Several issues were hoarded, such as the 1955 Dimes struck at the mints of Philadelphia (no mintmark), San Francisco (S) and Denver (D), meaning they can be harder to find. The 1948 and 1949 Roosevelt Dimes in mint condition are also scarce, as are the 1950-S and 1951-S.
Since 1964, all Roosevelt Dimes have been made from copper sandwiched between two layers of an alloy consisting of 75% copper and 25% nickel. While no proofs were minted in 1965, 1966 and 1967, unique mint sets were made at the San Francisco Mint. Proofs issued in 1970, 1975 and 1983 that do not feature the S mintmark are extremely rare and considered prized pieces.
Beginning in 1992, the United States Mint issued 90% silver Roosevelt Dimes in special collectors sets. The 1996 coin from an uncirculated set produced at the West Point Mint (W mintmark) and made to commemorate 50 years since the coin was first struck is considered a rare and treasured item as well.
One of the things that makes the Roosevelt Dime so special is that it is still being minted today. Originally released on the same day as the 1946 March of Dimes fundraiser and what would have been President Roosevelt’s 64th birthday, the Roosevelt Dime has been struck at the mints of Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver. As the United States Mint has been producing the coin for over 70 years, it is one of the longest-running series’ in the history of America and the world.
Although investors prefer to purchase Silver Roosevelt Dimes, collectors are interested in both the old silver standard coins and the Clad Roosevelt Dimes. The series offers various options with regards to collecting, and it would be fair to say that no collection is complete without at least a handful of issues or even just one Roosevelt Dime.
Whether you’re looking for a rare issue or a later limited edition silver proof set, you can always rely on Capital Gold Group to provide you with your most-wanted Roosevelt Dimes. For answers to questions or more information about making a purchase, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.