15 Nifty Facts about the Dime
Coins are often overlooked, but they harbor an intriguing history. The dime, a fundamental element of American currency, holds many secrets and stories. Discover 15 compelling facts about the dime that might just surprise you.
Intriguing Facts About the Dime:
- Historic Beginnings: Minted first in 1796, shortly after the U.S. declared independence, the dime featured Lady Liberty on the front and an eagle on the back.
- The Scot Design: Scottish-American Robert Scot, the Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint, crafted the original design of the dime, showcasing Lady Liberty with a “LIBERTY” inscribed ribbon and 15 stars for the states then in the Union.
- Material Makeup: Composed of “cupronickel,” the dime blends copper and nickel, specifically 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel, with a manganese coating for a silver sheen.
- Size and Scale: As the smallest U.S. Mint coin, the dime measures just 0.705 inches in diameter and 0.0598 inches in thickness.
- Silver Legacy: The earliest dimes contained 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper, with a 19mm diameter and a 2.70 grams weight.
- Presidential Presence: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who led from 1933-1945, has graced the dime for nearly 70 years, beginning in 1946.
- Design Evolution: Before FDR, the dime showcased Lady Liberty, a wreath, and an eagle, later replaced by Lady Liberty and various presidents.
- A Phrase of Faith: “In God We Trust” debuted on the dime in 1864, reflecting the Civil War era’s religious sentiment and remains a staple on U.S. currency.
- Durability: Despite their size, dimes can last up to 30 years or more with proper care.
- Inflation Impact: A dime in 1792 had significantly more purchasing power, equivalent to buying 2-3 loaves of bread.
- Global Circulation: Since 1792, over 270 billion dimes have been minted and circulated worldwide.
- Legal Protection: Counterfeiting dimes attracts severe penalties, including up to 25 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000.
- Manufacturing Might: It takes about eight tons of pressure per square inch to mint a single dime.
- Historical Namesake: The dime was once called a “disme,” a term rooted in the French word “dîme,” meaning “tithe” or “tenth.”
- Mass Production: In 2020 alone, the U.S. Mint produced over 7 billion dimes, underscoring its status as one of the most widely circulated coins.
Enjoyed these facts about the dime? Explore 15 fascinating facts about the penny.
Did any of these facts about the dime surprise you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!