We often take coins for granted, but they have a fascinating history. Have you ever thought about the dime? It’s an integral piece of our currency, yet few of us know much about it. Here are 15 facts about the dime that you may not know.
Facts about the Dime:
- The dime was first minted in 1796, just a few years after the United States gained independence from Great Britain. The original design featured Lady Liberty on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse.
- The design on the first dimes was created by Robert Scot a Scottish-American engraver who served as Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. They depicted a Lady Liberty facing left with her hair tied back with a ribbon inscribed “LIBERTY” across her brow along with 15 stars to represent each state at that time around the edge of the coin.
- The dime is made of a blend of metals called “cupronickel,” which consists of copper and nickel. The dime is 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel, and is coated with a layer of manganese to give it a silvery appearance.
- The dime is the smallest coin produced by the U.S. Mint at just 0.705 inches in diameter and 0.0598 inches thick.
- The first dimes were were composed of 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper with a diameter of 19mm and a weight of 2.70 grams.
- The reverse side of the dime features an image of President Franklin D Roosevelt, who served as President from 1933-1945 when he passed away from polio at age 63 – FDR was on the dime for almost 70 years!
- Before FDR, different images were used on each side of the coin such as Lady Liberty, a wreath, and an eagle among others – but these images were eventually replaced with those more recognizable today including Lady Liberty on one side and various presidents on the other (FDR was added in 1946).
- The phrase “In God We Trust” first appeared on the dime in 1864 during the Civil War era when religious sentimentality was high; it has remained part of our currency ever since then!
- Despite being small, dimes are incredibly durable coins – they can last up to 30 years or more if kept properly!
- When adjusted for inflation, dimes are worth far less than they once were – in 1792 a single dime would buy you about 2-3 loaves of bread.
- Since its introduction in 1792, over 270 billion dimes have been minted or put into circulation worldwide.
- According to U.S. law , anyone found counterfeiting or tampering with dimes may face imprisonment up to 25 years plus fines totaling $250 000.
- It takes approximately 8 tons of pressure per square inch to make one single dime.
- The dime is sometimes referred to as a “disme,” which is a historical term for a tenth of a dollar. The term “dime” is derived from the French word “dîme,” which means “tithe” or “tenth.” The use of the term “dime” to refer to the coin likely originated in the United States in the early 19th century.
- The dime is one of the most widely circulated coins in the United States. According to the US Mint, more than 7 billion dimes were produced in 2020 alone.
Liked these facts about the dime? Check out these 15 facts about the penny.