Which dimes are silver

Which dimes are silver
Posted on May 16, 2024 by BOLD Precious Metals

You might have come across various dimes so far. Did you ever notice any change in their appearance and color? The dimes produced by the United States Mint before 1965 are made of 90% silver and show a shiny glow and whitish color.

But that's not all! Dimes were the first US-minted coins, and they hold a special place in American history. George Washington himself ordered the production of silver dimes way back in 1792. So, if you're a history buff or an avid coin collector, silver dimes are an excellent addition to your collection.

In this article, we'll explore which dimes are silver and learn about the years when they were produced.

     History of Silver Dimes

History of Silver Dimes

When silver dimes were first produced by the US Mint in 1796, their composition was 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper. In order to keep their commodity value from exceeding their face value, the coins were thin and small.

Liberty was shown on the obverse, and an eagle was shown on the reverse in the designs from 1796 to 1837; however, in 1837, the eagle was swapped out for a wreath design.

The Seated Liberty dime's diameter decreased from 18.8 to 17.9 millimeters, but the silver content increased to 90%. Due to rising silver prices, dimes minted after 1964 were made of a copper-nickel alloy; the Coinage Act of 1965 eliminated the dime's silver content.

90% silver dimes come in three primary designs: "Barber" dimes, Winged Liberty Head dimes (also called "Mercury" dimes because of their resemblance to the Roman god Mercury), and Roosevelt dimes.

     Identification of Silver Dimes

Your dime is most likely made of silver if it features an image of Lady Liberty. This comprises Barber dimes (minted 1892–1916) and Seated Liberty (minted 1837–1891).

Identification of Silver Dimes

But it's very unlikely that you'll find one of these antique dimes in your pocket change.

If you're lucky, you might find a Mercury dime (minted 1916–1945). Though it is actually Lady Liberty with a winged cap, the image has long been confused for Mercury, the Roman god. The moniker sticks around.

The simplest thing to do is to look up the date on the coin's front or obverse.

Ninety percent of the older dimes that still feature the iconic Franklin D. Roosevelt design will be made of silver.

It can be difficult to determine if a modern proof dime is composed of silver. The only way to tell is by having a numismatist or bullion dealer test the coin for silver, as there are no other methods to determine this without potentially damaging the coin.

     Value of Silver Dimes

Collectors will find some dimes particularly valuable due to their numismatic qualities, but investors will be primarily drawn to dimes because of their junk silver value, which is determined by their 90% silver metal content.

Value of Silver Dimes

Silver-containing dimes give you the chance to own stunning silver coins and are a simple way to acquire valuable silver at a discounted price.

Because 90% of silver is present in silver dimes, their value exceeds their face value. For instance, at $25 per ounce, the silver content of a worn Pre-1965 Roosevelt silver dime is approximately $1.81. At a rate of $23.50 per ounce, an uncirculated 1964 silver dime would be valued at about $1.70 in melt value.

1946 Roosevelt dimes that are circulated are valued between $2.50 and $3, but 1946 dimes that are in perfect, uncirculated condition can fetch up to $1350.

As of April 2024, the 1947 Roosevelt dime is worth between $2.40 and $2.90 in circulated condition and $525 in uncirculated condition.

Mercury Dime and it’s Silver Content

The Mercury Dime is among the most sought-after coins ever produced in the United States. From 1916 until 1945, the coin known as the Winged Liberty Head Dime was produced. Lady Liberty is depicted in profile in the whimsical design, sporting a winged Phrygian cap. Over time, this coin came to be known only as the Mercury Dime because Adolph A. Weinman's design was frequently mistaken for the Roman god Mercury.

Mercury dimes, which were produced between 1916 and 1945, have a weight of slightly over 0.072 troy ounces and are 90% silver and 10% copper. 3.617 troy ounces of gold are contained in the 2.5 gram coins.

Mercury Dimes Value

The Silver Mercury Dime's physical composition, in addition to its well-known design, makes it extremely collectible. Depending on the date, condition, and mint mark, a Mercury Dime's value can vary from less than $1.50 to more than $1500.

For instance, the value of a 1942 Mercury Dime in circulated condition ranges from $2.95 to $5.50, while the uncirculated version of the same coin can fetch up to $4000.

     Silver Dime Years

The United States Mint has minted silver dimes from 1796 to 1964, with the years categorized into series:

  • Draped Bust Dimes: 1796–1807

  • Capped Bust Dimes: 1809–1837

  • Seated Liberty Dimes: 1837–1891

  • Barber Dimes: 1892–1916

  • Mercury Dimes: 1916–1945

  • Roosevelt Dimes: 1946–1964

  • After 1964: Copper-nickel alloy, with no silver

It's simple to determine in a matter of seconds whether the dime you are holding is silver. The following is what you'll be searching for:

The year of minting. The Mercury and Roosevelt dimes made in 1964 or earlier are made of 90% silver.

The most obvious indicator of a coin's metal content is its year of mintage, but these coins' shiny appearance also helps.

There won't be any other metal at the center of the coin; its edge will be pure silver.


The silver dimes are special in American history because George Washington himself took the initiative for them to be minted in 1792. Even though Pre-1965 dimes have a distinctive shiny appearance and contain 90% silver, they can be difficult to identify. In addition to being valuable to collectors, these silver dimes provide an affordable opportunity to purchase silver.

Investors and collectors are increasingly showing interest in silver, making it a popular choice. The metal's low premiums, high liquidity, and easy portability make it a sound investment that will add value to your equity.

BOLD offers these junk silver with historic bullion value that will last a lifetime and beyond at the lowest prices.

Expand your collection and investment portfolio with this tangible asset today!

Related Blogs



Germani mintPress BurgGolden State MintscottsdalemintPerth mint Auscoin-dealers

Copyright BOLD Precious Metals 2024