What Dimes Are Worth Money? Fast Facts About Dimes

The Coinage Act of 1792 introduced the first American coins to circulation in the United States. They included copper cents and half cents, silver dimes, and half dimes. Bigger denominations, such as the dollar and the eagles, would be introduced later on. 

While dimes may seem like small change nowadays, some of these coins have the potential to be worth much more. From rare editions to minting errors, these diminutive coins can carry a significant historical and monetary worth.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating realm of dimes. We will teach you how to identify the different designs released throughout American history, and share a list of the most valuable dimes according to auction records. We will uncover the stories behind them and provide insights into what makes them highly sought after by coin collectors and numismatists.

How to Know Which Dimes Are Valuable

Determining the value of dimes can be an exciting endeavor for collectors and enthusiasts. Here are some tips for looking for valuable dimes:

  1. Research Coin Guides: Familiarize yourself with reputable coin guides or numismatic references that provide detailed information on dime varieties, mintmarks, and their corresponding values. These resources can assist you in understanding the key factors that contribute to a dime's worth.
  2. Mint marks and Dates: Pay close attention to the mint marks and dates on the dimes. Mint marks indicate the specific mint where the coin was produced, such as "S" for San Francisco, "D" for Denver, and "P" for Philadelphia. Certain mint marks and dates may have lower mintages or unique characteristics, making them more valuable.
  3. Condition and Grading: Assess the condition of the dime using the grading scale established by professional grading services like the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). Coins in better condition generally command higher values. Look for sharp details, luster, and minimal wear or damage.
  4. Rarity and Scarcity: Research the rarity and scarcity of specific dime varieties or years. Coins with lower mintages or those with known errors, varieties, or limited releases tend to be more valuable due to their relative scarcity and demand.
  5. Professional Appraisals: If you possess a dime that you believe may be valuable, consider getting it professionally appraised by a reputable coin dealer or a certified coin grading service. Their expertise can provide you with an accurate assessment of the dime's worth based on its condition, rarity, and market demand.
  6. Market Prices: Stay informed about the current market prices for valuable dimes by exploring auction results, coin price guides, and online coin marketplaces. This knowledge will help you gauge the potential value of your dimes and make informed decisions.

Remember that determining the value of dimes can be complex, and it's crucial to rely on trusted sources, expert opinions, and professional grading services to ensure accurate evaluations. The world of coin collecting is ever-evolving, and continued research and learning will enhance your understanding of valuable dimes and the fascinating world of numismatics

Types of Dimes - How to Identify Dime Designs

The Draped Bust Dimes

Drapped Bust Dime


The Draped Bust dimes were minted from 1796 to 1807. The obverse displays the Liberty with flowing hair, a ribbon behind her head, and drapery covering her neckline. This design was thought by Robert Scot, who was responsible for engraving and designing many of the United States' early coins.

LIBERTY is written above the Lady, and the date 1976 is below. The reverse consists of an open wreath, tied with a bow at the bottom, enclosing a bald eagle perched on a cloud, with the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounding it.

There is, however, no indication of face value for this coin.

Capped Bust Dimes

Capped Bust Dime


The capped bust dime first appeared in 1809. Its coinage from 1809 to 1827 was intermittent, so for some years, production was skipped.

The obverse shows Liberty with her hair in a cloth cap secured by a band inscribed LIBERTY, with tresses flowing down to her shoulders. Her bust is draped in a cloth or gown secured by a clasp or brooch. The date goes below.

The reverse depicts an eagle perched on a branch and holding arrows. E PLURIBUS UNUM is on a scroll above the eagle, and the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and 10C. surrounds the border of the coin.

Liberty Seated Dimes

Seated Liberty Dime


The seated liberty dime introduced the popular 90% silver content and 10% copper metal composition, which lasted until 1965. The United States Mint produced this variety from 1837 to 1891. The design consists of Miss Liberty seated on a rock, holding in her left hand a liberty cap on a pole, and holding a shield with the right one, with the date at the bottom.

The dime's reverse displays an open wreath enclosing ONE DIME, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the borders.

The Carson City mint issues are low mintage and really difficult to find at any grade.

Barber Dimes

Barber Dime


The obverse shows a Greek inspired Miss Liberty facing right, in a Phrygian cap covered by a laurel wreath, with the word LIBERTY in tiny letters in a band on the forehead. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the coin, and the date is placed below.

The reverse is of the same design used earlier and features a large wreath enclosing ONE DIME. Since there was no room for the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on the coin, it was omitted.

Winged Liberty Head Dime

Winged Liberty Dime


Also known as the Mercury dime, due to the resemblance to the Roman god, Mercury, this dime replaced the older barber design. One of the most appealing designs among the other coins listed here, the United States Mint produced Mercury Dimes from 1916 to 1945.

The new design imagined by Adolph A. Weinman featured in its obverse a portrait of Lady Liberty facing left, wearing a Phrygian cap with wings on its sides.

The reverse blends a Roman fasces (an axe surrounded by a tied bundle of sticks) and an olive branch, indicating America's military readiness and their desire for peace.

Roosevelt Dimes

Roosevelt Dime


Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of America's most popular and influential Presidents. He has been the face of the dime since 1946, following his death in 1945.

The dime's obverse shows a portrait of the 32nd U.S. President, idealized by John R. Sinnock, whose initials appear below the Roosevelt bust.

While the imagery on the reverse displays a torch, an arrow, and an olive branch. 

To this day, the dime carries on the Roosevelt design, though its metal composition changed after the Coinage Act of 1965. That year, the United States Mint changed the composition of the coins from 90% silver to a copper-nickel clad. Which could not prevent some 90% silver error coins from emerging from time to time.

The 90% silver and 10% copper distribution were replaced by 91,67% copper and 8,33% nickel, maintaining similar weight but replacing the coin's precious metal core.

Dimes Worth Money

Naturally, through many years, the dime has circulated in U.S. territories, and there are many examples minted both in and out of circulation.

However, some valuable coins are more likely to appear in circulation. 

You can also check our article on What Quarters are worth Money?

There are some rare coins worth millions of dollars out there. The most valuable dimes survive the years in mint condition. Below is a list of the most valuable dimes in U.S. history, updated to 2023.

1796 Draped Bust Dime

1796 Draped Bust Dime


An example was sold for $881,250.00 in 2014.

Examples of the Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle type are often seen in grades from About Good until Fine. As you can expect, while the quality increases, the availability decreases.

1804 14 Stars Reverse Draped Bust Dime

1804 14 Stars Draped Bust Dime


Probably the second most valuable of the Draped Bust dimes produced and highly sought-after by coin collectors. This mint error is usually attributed to an engraver, because most dimes from 1804 had only 13 starts on the reverse, indicating the original colonies. The 14th star was an indication of Vermont joining the Union over a decade before.

This particular coin sold at an auction in 2008 for $632,500.

1820 Small 0 Capped Bust Dime

1820 Small 0 Capped Bust Dime


An MS67 example of this coin was sold for $152,750.00 in 2014.

An uncirculated piece, particularly a finer example of these, is a rare coin and elusive to find. finding one specimen strike is not always easy and could fetch you quite a good sum.

1822 Proof Capped Bust Dime

1822 Proof Capped Bust dime


Only 5 proof versions of the 1822 Capped Bust dime were minted in Philadelphia. This coin, still showing traces of cameo effect, sold at an auction in 2014 for $440,625.

1873-CC Liberty Seated Dime with Arrows

1873-CC Seated Liberty With Arrows


1873 saw the Carson City branch producing only 18,791 dimes. The original business strike variety showed the mint date in between arrows. This coin sold at an auction in 2022 for $552,000, only falling short for the next coin in this list.

1873-CC Liberty Seated Dime No Arrows

1873-CC Seated Liberty Dime No Arrows


In 1873, small pointed arrows were placed to the left and right of the date on the dime (as well as the quarter and half a dollar). Dimes struck in 1873 before the change appeared without arrows.

An MS65 example was sold for an impressive $3,600,000.00 in January of 2023, making it the most valuable dime in history.

1894-S Proof Barber Dime

1840-S Proof Barber Dime


The 1894-S Barber Dime is usually referred to as one of "The Big Three" in American numismatics, along with the 1804 Dollar and the 1913 Liberty Nickel.

This proof coin was one of only 24 examples minted in the San Francisco Mint in 1894. No business strikes were struck in that facility that year.

According to an article wrote by James Johnson and published in the September of 1972 issue of Coin World Magazine, John Dagget, the Superintendent of the San Francisco Mint at the time, gifted three of these coins to his daughter Hallie Dagget and told her not to spend them and wait a long time to sell them to collectors, as he believed some day they would be worth a lot of money. According to the story, however, Hallie Dagget spent one of these coins for an ice cream cone, as it was a very hot day.

According to Professional Coin Grading Service, the record price for this coin is the astounding sum of $1,997,500.00!

1900 Proof Barber Dime

1900 Proof Barber Dime


The second most expensive Barber Dime is actually much cheaper than the last one on the list. A proof version of the 1900 mintage sold in 2020 for $66,000. Still an impressive amount, though.

1931-S Full Bands Mercury Dime

1931-S Winged Liberty Dime


The second most valuable of the Mercury dimes. "Full Band" is a designation attributed to Mercury Dimes that clearly show the horizontal lines on the bands surrounding the fasces on the reverse design.

An MS67 specimen sold at an auction in 2019 for $270,250.

1938-S Mercury Dime

1938-S Winged Liberty Dime


The record price at an auction for a 1938-S Mercury Dime was $364,250.00 in 2019, according to PCGS. This is the most expensive Mercury Dime ever sold at auctions.

1999-D Roosevelt Dimes

1999-D Roosevelt Dime


Roosevelt dimes were first introduced in 1946. Therefore, most variations of this coin are still pretty affordable.

Nevertheless, the 1999-D Roosevelt Dime was sold at an auction in 2009 for $14,375.00, making it one of the most valuable Roosevelt dimes there is.

1975-S No S Proof Roosevelt Dime

1975-S No S Roosevelt Dime


Proof coins without mint marks, known as "No-S" coins, were created due to the way Proof dies were handled.

In 1968, the San Francisco Mint started producing Proof coins, but the dies for these coins were prepared at the Philadelphia Mint. The process involved adding a mintmark to regular dies from Philadelphia. However, some dies managed to escape this process, resulting in the existence of "No-S" coins.

According to PCGS, one of these coins was sold for $456,000 in 2019.

Other Valuable Roosevelt Dimes

Here is a list of other valuable Roosevelt dimes:

  1. 1965 Silver Roosevelt Dime: In 1965, the United States Mint transitioned from using 90% silver composition for dimes to a copper-nickel clad composition. However, a small number of 1965 dimes were accidentally struck in 90% silver. These silver dimes are valuable and can be found in circulation, although they are extremely rare.
  2. 1982 No-P Mint Mark Roosevelt Dime: In 1982, an error occurred at the Philadelphia Mint, resulting in some Roosevelt dimes being struck without a mintmark (the "P" mintmark). These "No-P" dimes are highly sought after by collectors and can occasionally be found in circulation.
  3. 1996-W Roosevelt Dime: In order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the beloved Roosevelt dime series, the West Point Mint unexpectedly produced 1996 Roosevelt dimes and included them in uncirculated sets released in 1996.
  4. Doubled Die Varieties: Throughout the years, there have been instances of doubled die varieties on Roosevelt dimes, where the design elements appear doubled. These errors can increase the value of the coin, but they are quite scarce and not commonly found in circulation.

Final Thoughts

The realm of American numismatics holds a captivating array of valuable dimes that have fascinated collectors and enthusiasts alike.

From the legendary 1894-S Barber dime, with its mysterious origins and extraordinary rarity, to the intriguing "No-S" proof coins and the accidental silver dimes of 1965, these exceptional coins have become symbols of rarity, beauty, and historical significance.

While the chances of stumbling upon these valuable dimes in everyday circulation are slim, their stories serve as a testament to the allure of coin collecting and the enduring legacy of these small yet extraordinary pieces of American history.

As the pursuit of rare dimes continues, their timeless appeal and immense value ensure that their place in numismatics will forever be cherished and celebrated.


Is a 1965 dime worth money?

A Roosevelt Dime from 1965 made of clad composition (copper and nickel) is worth between $0.15 and $0.35 in circulated condition, as reported by the NGC Price Guide as of March 2023. However, 1965 was the year the United States Mint replaced the silver composition of dimes and other coins for clad. So, a few silver planchets were mistakenly used to produce Roosevelt dimes that year. A 1965 Roosevelt Dime can be worth up to $9,000!

What dime is worth $1000000?

The 1894-S Barber Dime can be worth up to 1 million. According to PCGS, a PR66 piece was sold in an auction at 1.997,500 in June 2016. Another valuable dime, Liberty Seated Dime, 1873-CC No Arrows was sold in 2023 for $3,600,000.00!

What makes a 1965 dime rare?

Before 1965 all dimes were made with 90% silver. So some of 1965 have been struck in a silver planchet by accident. One graded MS62 was sold for $9,000 in 2019. Other rare dimes worth mentioning are The Broadstruck 1965 Dime, the cladding error dimes, and the die break.

What year of dimes are worth money?

All of the dimes struck on silver before 1965 will be worth at least their melt value as "Junk Silver". Other extremely valuable dimes include the 1873-CC, 1894-S, 1938-S, among others.

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James Anderson
James Anderson
Senior Market Analyst & Content

A bullion buyer years before the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, James Anderson is a grounded precious metals researcher, content creator, and physical investment grade bullion professional. He has authored several Gold & Silver Guides and has been featured on the History Channel, Zero Hedge, Gold-Eagle, Silver Seek, Value Walk and many more. You can pick up Jame's most recent, comprehensive 200+ Page book here at SD Bullion.

Given that repressed commodity values are now near 100-year low level valuations versus large US stocks, James remains convinced investors and savers should buy and maintain a prudent physical bullion position now, before more unfunded promises debase away in the coming decades...