What Dimes Are Silver? - Silver Dimes
All dimes produced in the United States prior to 1965 are made of 90% silver. Sometimes these coins are referred to as "junk silver" in the industry.
Additionally, every year from 1992 to 2018, proof Roosevelt dimes issued by the U.S. Mint in special Silver Proof Sets have likewise been struck from .900 fine silver. Beginning in 2019, the mint began making its Silver Proof Sets with .999 fine silver (99.9% pure silver).
1946 Roosevelt dime. Image source: USA Coinbook
The key features to look for on silver dimes will be discussed below.
Which Dimes Are Silver?
If your dime bears an image of Lady Liberty, it's almost certainly made of silver. This includes both Seated Liberty (minted 1837–1891) and Barber dimes (minted 1892–1916).
It's highly unlikely you will find one of these old dimes in your pocket change, however.
You may be fortunate enough to come across a Mercury dime (minted 1916–1945). The image is actually Lady Liberty wearing a winged cap, but it has long been mistaken for the Roman god, Mercury. The nickname endures.
1943-D Mercury dime (obverse)
Your best bet is to simply check the date on the front (obverse) of the coin.
Some of the older dimes that use the familiar Franklin D. Roosevelt design still in use today will also be 90% silver.
Judging whether or not a modern proof dime is made of silver can be tricky. You will have to consult a numismatist or bullion dealer that can test the coin for silver, because there's no other way to tell without damaging the coin.
Value of Silver Dimes
What is a silver dime worth?
You can always calculate the melt value of your silver dime by multiplying its actual silver weight, 0.07234 troy ounce, by the current spot price of silver.
Stack of Barber dimes
At the time of publishing, the melt value of a common-date dime is roughly $1.50. That's 1,400% higher than its face value of 10¢! "Junk silver" indeed.
This can certainly add up if you have a jar or bag filled with dimes. You'll get the most reliable valuation by showing your coins to a reputable coin dealer.
Read more about U.S. coin values from the experts at Gainesville Coins:
"Tricky Ikes": The Story of the Silver Eisenhower Dollar
What Nickels Are Silver? - Silver War Nickels
Are Half Dollars Valuable? - Silver Half Dollars
How Much Is A Silver Dollar Worth?
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.
In addition to blogging, Everett's work has been featured in Reuters, CNN Business, Bloomberg Radio, TD Ameritrade Network, CoinWeek, and has been referenced by the Washington Post.
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