The Coinage Act of 1792, a pivotal piece of legislation passed by the United States Congress, played a crucial role in shaping the nation’s monetary system and coinage history. This landmark act had far-reaching implications and established various denominations of U.S. currency, including the dime. The dime, as defined by the act, was authorized to be minted as a coin called a “disme,” an archaic spelling of the term “dime.”
The primary defining characteristic of the dime was that it was to be one-tenth the weight and value of a dollar. The U.S. Mint, still in its infancy during this time, set about producing these new coin denominations according to the specifications outlined in the Coinage Act. The “disme” was envisioned as a coin of value, and its production was a significant step towards creating a reliable and stable system of currency within the United States.
The first dime design to be minted under the provisions of the Coinage Act of 1792 was the Draped Bust Dime. Designed by the talented Robert Scot, this dime design was minted from 1796 to 1807. It featured a classic and elegant depiction of Lady Liberty on the obverse (the front side) and a majestic eagle on the reverse (the back side). The Draped Bust Dime is a numismatic treasure, embodying the artistic and historical essence of the era in which it was produced.
The Draped Bust Dime design, with its portrayal of Lady Liberty, is a reflection of the prevailing ideals and aesthetics of the early United States. Lady Liberty, draped in a flowing gown, symbolized the spirit and freedom of the new nation. The eagle on the reverse, a powerful and enduring symbol, represented the United States’ strength and aspiration to soar to greater heights. This design not only captured the essence of the time but also set a standard for the artistic representation of American values on coinage.