How Much Silver Is In a Dime? Which Dimes Are Silver?

Although often referred to as ‘junk silver,’ pre-1965 US dimes are not 'junk' in the negative and worthless sense of the word.

Silver dimes struck by the United States Mint during that era contained 90% silver, and their silver content makes them valuable from a melt value standpoint.

However, they’re still colloquially called junk silver in the precious metals market.

Which US Dimes Have Silver In Them?

A 90% silver alloy was used to strike both Roosevelt and Mercury dimes that got struck before 1965. So, all Roosevelt and Mercury dimes from that era will have silver in them.

Here’s an easy checklist to identify them:

  • Year of issue 1964 or before;
  • Faint white luster, characteristic of silver;
  • The image of either Young Liberty (popularly mistaken for the Roman God Mercury) or President Roosevelt.

How Much Silver Do These US Dimes Contain?

These famous coins were struck using an alloy of 90% silver and 10% copper.  Let’s jump into some numbers to find exactly how much silver these dimes contain.

Every one of these coins weighs 2.5 grams or 0.088 troy ounces. So, the pure silver content in these mentioned US 90% silver dimes comes out to approximately 0.0723 troy ounces per coin.

Silver Dime Melt Value?

The 90% silver dimes stuck in the USA have a melt value of currently around $1.30 – $1.50 (USD), depending on the spot price of silver at the time of course (current silver spot price: $17.62 oz).

How Many Silver Dimes make an Ounce?

Since there are 0.0723 troy ounces of silver per 90% silver dime, it takes 14 silver dimes to contain more than one troy ounce of silver bullion content.

Which Dimes are Silver?

Mercury Dimes (1916 – 1945)

90% Silver Mercury Dime

The Mercury dimes’ name has an interesting story behind it. When these coins got first circulated, the designs on their obverses got mistakenly identified as a rendition of the Roman God, Mercury. However, Adolph A. Weinman, the designer had portrayed a Young Lady Liberty in the image.

Nonetheless, due to this initial public misconception, the Mercury dime’s nickname stuck and is still addressed as such today.

These dimes got produced until 1945. The treasury then stopped production – replacing it with a brand-new design to honor the recently-deceased United States President Franklin Roosevelt.

Roosevelt Dimes (1946 – 1964)

90% Silver Roosevelt Dime

The United States Mint began striking these dimes after 1946 and continued to do so until 1964. Since this release intended to honor the deceased President Franklin Roosevelt, it quickly gained popularity among the masses.

Although most collectors and investors today love these coins for their 90% silver content, some of the more pristine specimens are held in high regard and priced accordingly.

Why do Investors Buy Silver Dimes?

Silver Dime Value in the Future?

We can’t predict what these coins will be worth in the future. But what we can do is look at it from an unbiased perspective.

Since wear and tear can be a problem for 90% silver coins. We presume collectors and investors will have a harder time finding 90% silver dimes in relatively good condition as the years go onwards. So, it stands to reason that the supply of dimes in good condition will go down eventually – making them more valuable in the long run.

US dimes containing 90% silver are a relatively safe bet and long term store of value.

If you are looking to add silver bullion to your precious metals portfolio; purchasing 90% Silver Dimes is a popular choice.

SD Bullion customers love buying junk silver coins and dimes. 

Have a look at them again and thanks for visiting our website.


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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...