Many coin connoisseurs consider the silver dime, also known as the mercury dime, to be one of the most alluring coins put into circulation by the United States Mint. All mercury dimes contain 90% silver. You may here avid silver collectors refer to them as “junk silver.”
In this post, you will discover the value of silver dimes, where they come from, and whether it’s worth getting your hands on a few of them.
Every dime minted before 1964 is 90% silver. In 1965, the United States Mint stopped using silver and instead started using a copper-nickel alloy, which they still use today.
Three main dimes contain silver:
Mercury dimes are by far the most sought after among the three, as its iconic winged liberty design holds a lot of value in the industry.
Before 1964, silver dimes were crafted in large quantities. Any silver dime that’s not considered a rare collectible is generally worth the total value of the amount of silver it contains. The age of a coin doesn’t usually play a significant role in the value of a coin; what’s valuable is its scarcity.
Coin collectors want a rare coin for their collection. Whether it is to hold or sell at a later date, a rare coin will always be more valuable than an ordinary coin. Some of the most expensive rare silver dimes include:
Junk silver is a term thrown around the silver industry. It refers to coins made in abundance that do not hold any collectible value. With that in mind, there is a massive demand for junk silver for investors who want to diversify their portfolio with silver but do not like to purchase rare coins.
All junk silver coins are worth their weight in silver and come at a slight premium. As mentioned above, before 1965, silver coins contained a 90% silver alloy along with 10% copper. Today, mints can craft almost pure silver coins (.999 purity). However, these coins aren’t put into circulation by the United States government and are only for investment purposes.
Since silver coins minted today aren’t in circulation, mints don’t design them to be too resilient to wear and tear. Modern coins with .999 purity can withstand more damage. For that reason, specific laws state that investors who purchase gold for an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) have to buy .999 silver.
As a result, junk silver isn’t eligible for an IRA, but their investment popularity is still relatively large around the country. You’ll find tons of silver investors who fill a small percentage of their portfolios with junk silver.
Any silver dollar coin minted before 1965 has a face value of $1 and contains roughly .715 ounces of silver.
The first Barber dimes came into circulation in 1892, and it’s an outright American classic. The designer and namesake of this silver dime is “King of the Mint” Charles E. Barber. He is famous for designing all American coinage towards the end of the 1800s until he died in 1917.
Barber dimes are 90% silver and 10% copper. The vast majority of Barber dimes were minted in San Francisco, New Orleans, Denver, and Philadelphia.
A Barber dime’s value depends on a few different factors such as age, condition, and mint location. For example, a Barber dime in decent shape will likely be worth less than $10. However, a rare Barber dime, such as the 1895 – O Barber dime, can be worth up to $1,800, depending on the condition.
If you do get your hands on a few barber dimes or already have some in your collection, we recommend you go to a professional third-party grading service. This way, you can get the most precise value estimate for your Barber dime.
Following the death of Charles Barber, Mercury dimes were introduced to try and replace his iconic designs. The Mercury dime was designed by sculptor Adolph A. Weinman and was minted until the Roosevelt dime took over in 1946.
On one side, the coin has Lady Liberty wearing a Phrygian, which symbolizes freedom and liberty. The name “Mercury Dime” was coined (no pun intended) via a broad misinterpretation of the design. Many thought Lady Liberty was wearing the same winged cap as Mercury, who was the god of merchants in Roman mythology.
The Mercury dime has a diameter of 17.9 mm and weighs 2.5 grams. Like the Barber dime, it also contains 90% silver and 10% copper alloy. Each Mercury dime in circulation has .715 troy ounces of silver.
The Roosevelt dime is still the current dime in the United States. The first Roosevelt dime was set in motion in 1946. Before 1965, all Roosevelt dimes were 90% silver.
The Roosevelt dime design was crafted by a US Mint employee, John R. Sinnock. On one side is a portrait of former 32nd president of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He is facing towards the left, and right above his head is the robust engraving of the word “LIBERTY.” Below, you will find “In God We Trust” along with the year the coin was minted.
Like the Mercury dime and Barber dime, the Roosevelt dime had .715 troy ounces of silver before 1965.
If you’re new to silver investing, junk dimes and other silver dimes are great because they don’t require a ton of upfront capital to get started. You can get a good grip on silver and learn the industry’s ins and outs with little risk.
Since silver dimes were minted in such large quantities and the demand is still high, the market remains liquid. It is easy to purchase and sell junk silver. Getting your hands on a Mercury dime would be an excellent way to spice up your portfolio, as its design is trendy and you can instill a nice premium.
If you are not interested in rare collectibles and do not mind coinage previously in circulation, then silver dimes are a great option.
Silver dimes were once used as legal tender. Many survived and are still in decent condition, but a large number of silver dimes were melted down in the 1970s. It will be a major challenge to find a pre-1965 silver dime that’s in perfect condition. However, this is not a huge concern for investors as long as the coin still contains the appropriate amount of silver.
You can purchase bags or tubes of silver dimes containing a mixture of conditions and dates as an investment.
Purchasing silver or any other precious metals is an exciting experience. There are a few places to buy silver dimes, but where you purchase your coins might affect their future resale value.
You can buy silver coins, including silver dimes, at these places:
Silver dimes may not be the most sophisticated silver assets you can buy, but they have a great demand and are viable for new investors. Each kind of silver dime has its own unique story and symbolizes classic American history.
Remember, always consider your options before purchasing silver dimes either online or at a local dealer to see if you are getting the best deal.
What are your thoughts on silver dimes? Do you want to add some to your collection, or use them to diversify your portfolio? If you want to learn more about silver coins or other precious metals as investments, check out some of our other posts.
INSIDE THIS INVESTMENT GUIDE YOU WILL LEARN:
• How Gold & Silver can protect your savings & retirement accounts
• Types of Gold & Silver products available for Home Delivery
• How a Gold & Silver IRA can protect your Retirement account