Roosevelt Dimes: A Brief History
The Roosevelt dime was introduced to honor President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after his death in 1945. The dime was chosen as the denomination for this commemorative coin due to Roosevelt's efforts in spearheading the March of Dimes campaign, which aimed to find a cure for polio.
The obverse (front) of the Roosevelt dime features a portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The design was created by John R. Sinnock, who was the Chief Engraver at the United States Mint at the time. His initials "JS" can be found at the base of Roosevelt's neck. The reverse (back) of the coin showcases an olive branch, a torch, and an oak branch, symbolizing peace, liberty, and strength, respectively. The design of the Roosevelt dime has undergone only one minimal change since its introduction. Beginning in 1968, the mint mark was moved from the reverse to the obverse of the coin, near the bottom right.
Roosevelt dimes, minted from 1946 to 1964, were made of a 90% silver and 10% copper alloy. Due to the rising cost of silver and the depletion of the U.S. Treasury's silver reserves, silver was removed from circulating coinage. Starting from 1965, the composition changed to a clad coinage, with a pure copper core and outer layers of copper-nickel. Roosevelt dimes have been minted in several U.S. Mint facilities, including Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D), and San Francisco (S). Some proof dimes, including the years 1968, 1970, 1975, and 1983, were also minted in San Francisco without a mint mark by mistake. Only two years were minted at West Point (W), these were the 1996 uncirculated clad dime included only in U.S. Mint sets for the 50th anniversary and the 2015 silver dime included in the March of Dimes commemorative Proof set.
Roosevelt dimes are popular among coin collectors. Some key dates and varieties are highly sought after. Additionally, there have been various special editions and commemorative issues of the Roosevelt dime released over the years, such as proof coins and silver collector sets.