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Putting Together a Set of Circulated Silver Roosevelt Dimes Can be a Quick and Fun Project

The Roosevelt Dime is often an overlooked coin in the collecting community.  Sure there are some serious Roosevelt Dime collectors out there, but truth be told, they are a small number when compared to the number of Morgan Dollar, Mercury Dime or Lincoln Cent Collectors.  That should not dissuade you if Roosevelt Dimes are an area you want to collect.  There are three strategies one can deploy when collection Roosevelt Dimes.  They are:

  1. A basic circulated collection
  2.  An uncirculated collection
  3. A certified Collection, and there are several variants for this strategy.

For the purposes of this article, we will focus on a basic circulated collection.  First, a little history.  The Roosevelt Dime entered circulated in 1946 and replaced the dime commonly known as the Mercury Dime.  After Roosevelt’s death, many wanted to pay tribute to the President by putting his likeness on a coin.  The dime seemed to be the logical choice because Roosevelt supported the March of Dimes, a program that raised funds for research to find a cure for polio. Roosevelt contracted the polio virus when he was 39 years old.

With the history out of the way, let’s get started by covering the concept of a basic circulated collection of Roosevelt Dimes.  From 1964 through 1964, Roosevelt Dimes were made of 90% silver and 10% copper.  From 1965 to the present the metal content is a Cupro-Nickel composition with  8.33% nickel and 91.67% copper.    If you are putting together a circulated set, I would suggest purchasing Roosevelt Dime Folders like these.  This is a good way to keep your collection organized.

Unlike many other coin series, the Roosevelt Dime series contains no real rare dates.  This makes putting together this collection in circulated grade not so difficult.  Depending on how picky you want to be, the simplest option may be to simply buy a set on eBay.  You can either buy a completed album, or from time to time you will see auctions of complete sets sold in a roll.  This takes some of the fun out of it, but it will get the job done pretty quickly.  The other option is to visit your local coin dealer to see what they have in stock.  Don’t be surprised to find out that most silver Roosevelt Dimes may be in the junk silver bin.  This is because the silver value (as I write this), far exceeds any numismatic value for these circulated coins.

When looking through the silver bin, you can select coins that look decent to fill the holes in your album.  Over time, you will have most of them filled.  Don’t get frustrated by the fact that you will come across many, many more dimes from the 1960’s than you will from the 1940’s and the 1950’s.  This is just the way it is as dime production really ramped up during that time.

After doing this for a while, you will discover that you may be still missing a few dates.  It is likely that these dates are 1949-S, 1950-S, 1955, 1955-D and 1955-S.  Each of these years/mint mark combinations had 20 million or less coins made.  The 1955-P had less than 13 million coins produced.  You may simply have to purchase these on your own.

Keith Scott has been a collector for over 30 years. His website has US coins for sale. He also writes Coin Collecting Articles for fun. Visit his websites for a history of US coins, metal market updates and news about your favorite coins.

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