How Much Is a Silver Dime Worth?
The melt value of a U.S. silver dime is found by multiplying its actual silver weight (0.07234 troy oz) by the silver spot price.
Some silver dimes may be worth much more. It depends on the rarity and condition of the coin.
The United States has not minted 90% silver dimes since 1964. If you're unsure if your dime is silver, check out this helpful guide.
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How To Identify a Rare Silver Dime
Identifying a few important features will tell you if your dime is rare or not.
The key things to look for first are the coin's design and the date. Designs that are no longer produced, such as the Mercury dime (above), are rather collectible. So if the image on a dime looks unfamiliar, that's an obvious sign it will be more valuable.
Checking the date is also an easy test. All dimes minted in 1964 or earlier are 90% pure silver. That's a great starting point.
Generally speaking, the older the date, the higher the value. There are many exceptions, however. The exceptions to this rule usually depend upon low mintage totals for a given year-date.
Check the Mintmark
The same general rule applies to mintmarks. A mintmark is a small letter on the coin that tells you where it was minted. (As an example, the "S" mintmark stands for the San Francisco Mint. Coins with no mintmark were all produced at the Philadelphia Mint.)
Most of the time, dimes with mintmarks will be worth more than those without one. The branch mints tended to produce less coins each year than Philadelphia. Again, there are exceptions.
You will also want to note anything unusual or out of place on the coin. This could indicate that a dime is an error variety. How does one recognize an error coin, though? You can consult detailed photographs by searching the year and mintmark combination of your dime online. Some errors can only be seen under magnification, so buying a magnifying glass or jeweler's loupe is a good idea.
The infographic below provides some additional details.
Buying Silver Dimes
Be sure to have a plan when you're ready to buy silver dimes. Are you buying them purely for the bullion, or as part of a collection? Maybe you want to pursue a mixed strategy of a little bit of both. There's nothing wrong with any of these options.
Each strategy mentioned above follows a different path. If you're buying dimes strictly as bullion, look for 90% silver dimes with the lowest premium possible. If you're collecting dimes, it's usually best to find the highest grade (i.e. best condition) coins you can afford.
Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.