Roosevelt Dimes

The United States Roosevelt dime is not just a coin; it’s a symbol of honor and a tribute to one of the nation’s most influential leaders. This small piece of currency tells a significant story that encompasses the struggles and triumphs of the United States during a pivotal period in its history.

The idea for the Roosevelt dime came into existence shortly after the passing of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. The country was mourning the loss of a leader who had steered the nation through some of its most challenging times: the Great Depression and World War II. Roosevelt’s presidency, spanning from 1933 to 1945, marked a turning point in American history, and it was only fitting that he be remembered in a special way.

In the wake of his passing, discussions began to surface about a commemorative coin that would pay homage to Roosevelt’s extraordinary leadership. The United States Mint took on the responsibility of designing and minting this tribute, with the renowned American sculptor John R. Sinnock at the helm. At the time, Sinnock held the position of Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, making him the ideal artist to craft this important piece of history.

Sinnock’s design for the Roosevelt dime was a masterpiece in its own right. On the obverse side of the coin, he depicted a left-facing portrait of President Roosevelt, capturing his noble countenance and the strength of character that defined his leadership. On the reverse side, Sinnock incorporated symbolic elements—an olive branch, torch, and oak branch—representing peace, liberty, and strength, respectively. These symbols were not just artistic choices but also profound representations of the values and ideals Roosevelt stood for during his presidency.

The Roosevelt dime was officially released into circulation on January 30, 1946, and it quickly became a cherished memento among the American public. The coin’s popularity was not just a result of its artistic design, but also because of the deep admiration and respect the nation held for President Roosevelt.

From its inception, the Roosevelt dime was composed of 90% silver, which was the standard for silver coinage during that era. This silver content remained consistent until 1965 when changes in the market led to a transition. The rising prices of silver compelled the United States Mint to adjust the composition of the dime. Starting in 1965, the Roosevelt dime was minted with a copper-nickel alloy, which made it more cost-effective and readily available to the public.

The dime’s physical specifications are equally intriguing. It has a modest diameter of 17.9 millimeters and a weight of 2.5 grams. These seemingly unremarkable dimensions are a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail that go into the minting process. The small size of the dime, combined with its enduring design, ensures that it remains a beloved and recognizable part of American currency.