Dimes often land in our hands as loose change when we pay for goods at the grocers or the supermarket. But we all know that having a dime or two in our pocket or purse is no sign that we have plenty of money.
Nonetheless, life can turn on a dime if you discover you have one of the rare dimes highly valued by coin collectors.
In the coin market, a valuable 1976 dime is in the uncirculated mint state with a high coin grading. But the 1976 dime value can also appreciate on other features.
Want to know the history, value, and everything interesting about the 1976 dime? The rest of the article tells you every detail about this Roosevelt dime.
The 1976 Dime History and Background
The Roosevelt dime is one of the US currency coins with a rich history. Since its release on January 30, 1946, the dime has retained the Roosevelt theme to date.
But the release of the Roosevelt dime was not without hurdles. First off, the coin designer John Ray Sinnock, principal engraver for the US Mint at the time, had to review the design more than once.
The final version of the design was approved only a few weeks before its release. The occasion was to commemorate Roosevelt’s birth date.
Even after its release, some Americans read the imposition of communism and the control of the Soviet Union in the JS initials on the coin reverse. Many indeed thought a post-World War II threat was brewing and that the initials stood for Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader at the time.
Only an official statement would finally settle the dust and convince the majority that the JS initials showed the artist’s name. Rumor has it that some stores even rejected the coin.
Using Roosevelt’s image on the dime also celebrated his efforts to combat and end polio through the “March of Dimes” movement. The president himself had suffered polio at 39.
Roosevelt’s theme on the dime replaced the famous “Mercury” dime. This dime had the theme of the Liberty woman with a winged cap on her head, symbolizing freedom of thought.
The reverse featured a bundle of sticks tied onto an axe alongside an olive branch. Both were symbols of America’s military prowess and her longing for peace.
As such, Roosevelt’s dime had to be well-designed to deservedly replace the “Mercury” dime, considered one of the most beautiful US coins.
Did John Sinnock succeed in that task? The 1976 dime features below will tell.
1976 Dime Features
Eleven years before the minting of the 1976 dime, its metal composition changed from silver to a copper core coated with a nickel clad. This change constitutes one of the key specs of the 1976 Roosevelt dime.
1976 Dime Specs
- Composition: 91.67% Copper and 8.33% Nickel
- Diameter: 17.91mm
- Thickness: 1.35mm
- Weight: 2.268g
- Edge: Reeded (118 reeds)
It is worth noting that the reeds on the edge appeared on the very first silver dime in 1796. The US Mint included them to deter people from filing off pieces of silver from the coin for sale.
1976 Dime Obverse
The obverse side of the 1976 dime features the head of Franklin Roosevelt in a left-facing pose. Since the image occupies most of the space on the tiny dime, Sinnock had little space to work with for the other features.
- The artist placed the word “LIBERTY” in a curve to the front of Roosevelt’s face.
- The Inscription, “IN GOD WE TRUST” is on minimal space in two lines under Roosevelt’s chin.
- Below the neckline, you notice the Mint Year (1976) and the Mint Mark above the year. The engraver’s initials are barely visible below the mint year.
1976 Dime Reverse
The reverse of the 1976 dime has a rich symbolism. Three symbols take up most of the coin’s center space:
- A torch stands at the center as a symbol of liberty.
- An oak branch is on the right side of the torch to show strength and independence.
- An olive branch is designed on the left side of the torch, signifying peace.
Sinnock inscribed the name of the country, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in a curve at the top above the three symbols. The coin denomination, ONE DIME, is at the bottom in larger letters than the country name.
The artist engraved the motto, E PLURIBUS UNUM, behind the 3 symbols. Many consider the letters of the slogan to have an awkward spacing, with the last two words broken by the torch and the olive and oak branches.
Nevertheless, the engraver’s struggle to fit plenty of details in little space does not reduce the 1976 dime value. That is especially true for coin collectors.
1976 Dime Value
If you have a 1976 dime in your purse, the question of how much is a 1976 dime worth may be running in your mind.
A regular 1976 dime in the circulated state is worth only its face value, $0.10. The dime’s melt value is $0.02.
However, a 1976 dime may sell for a premium price if:
- It is still in a mint state, meaning it is in uncirculated condition and has a grade between MS65 and MS70.
- It is circulated but in excellent condition, with an MS60 to MS64 grade or lower.
- It is considered rare among coin collectors due to visible mint errors.
- Its mint mark (D, S, or no mint mark) is valued over other mint marks.
- It is graded FT (full torch) or FB (full brand) for the “D” and no mint mark varieties.
- It is graded CA (Proof Cameo) or UC (Ultra Cameo) for the “S” proof dimes.
Going by the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC), this 1976 Dime value chart will show you how the 1976 dime value can vary on these features.
|1976 Dime Value Chart|
Note: Only lower grades (50-58) of the 1976 MSFT have been found with a value between $0.15 and $0.35.
1976 Dime No Mint Mark Value
The Philadelphia Mint struck the 1976 dime with no mint mark. Of the 1,268,132,504 Roosevelt dimes struck that year, 568,760,000 were from the Philadelphia Mint.
According to the US Coin Book, the 1976 dime no mint mark value is $2.61 for an MS65 coin. However, the dime can sell at a premium price if it is in a higher grade or has rare mint errors.
1976 D Dime Value
The Denver Mint struck 695,222,774 Roosevelt dimes in 1976. These circulation dimes bear the “D” mark, differentiating them from the Philadelphia 1976 no mint mark dimes and the San Franscisco “S” dimes.
A 1976 D dime value averages around $2.61. This value can appreciate depending on the coin’s condition or the visibility of rare mint errors.
In the open market, 1976 D dimes are valued lower than the no mint mark variety. The highest-valued 1976-D dime with an MS67FB grade sold for $1,560 in 2020 at the Heritage Auctions.
1976 S Dime Value
The San Francisco Mint struck only 4,149,730 proof dimes in 1976. These dimes differ from the no mint mark and the “D” variety by their “S” mint mark.
The average 1976-S dime value is around $3.13 for a PR65 grade. So far, only a single 1976-S dime has sold for a four-figure price. The PR70 DCAM 1976-S dime sold for $1,035 in 2003 at the Heritage Auctions.
Three and two-figure price sales are more common for the 1976 S dime. Most sales on the PCGS Auction Prices record show more 2-figure price sales over the years.
1976 Dime Errors
Mint errors on US currency coins can vary from year to year and from series to series. The 1976 dime errors are just as varied.
The value of a D, S and no mint mark 1976 dime can appreciate from the average cost of a regular dime if there are visible rare errors.
Below are some of the 1976 dime errors with indications of the dime value.
1976 Dime Double Struck Error
The double-struck error is an off-center error that happens when a coin is struck but does not eject from the dies. As a result, the coin is struck a second time but with the second strike off center.
A double-struck error can significantly augment a 1976 dime value from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. An MS64 1976 no mint mark dime with a 70% off-center second strike sold for $423 in 2017 at the Heritage Auctions.
1976 Dime Curved-clip Error
A curved clip error is a concave blank punch that happens when a blanking die overlays a punched hole (or multiple holes) where a blank(s) was punched out before. The clip error appears like someone clipped off a section of the coin’s edge.
A triple curved-clip error on a 1976 no mint mark dime with an AU58 grading raised its price from a few dollars to $51. The dime sold at the Heritage Auctions in 2017.
1976 Dime Struck on a Panama 1/10 Balboa
The balboa is an official currency in Panama. A 1/10 balboa is equivalent to $0.10, the dime value.
The NGC Auction Prices record has some 1976 dimes struck on a Panama balboa. Interestingly, that error also adds value to the dime.
1976 Dime Error In God We Trust
You currently don’t spot a 1976 dime on official lists of reputable grading services like PCGS and NGC with an error on the inscription “IN GOD We TRUST.” However, you will find some online marketplaces like eBay listing 1976 dimes with an error in the inscription.
Since these listings do not show any grading details, we recommend checking the dimes with a professional coin grader before making a purchase.
1976 Dime Value: FAQs
How Much Is a 1976 Dime Worth Today?
Going by the current US Coin Book rates, a 1976 dime in uncirculated MS65 grade condition is worth between $2.61 and $3.13.
However, the prices can significantly appreciate if the coin has a higher grade or presents visible mint errors.
Such coins can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars, with the highest sale record so far being $2,695.
Is 1976 S Dime Silver?
The 1976 S dime is not silver but copper-nickel clad. This means that the core of the dime is made of copper, while the outer layer is nickel. The silvery-white color of nickel is what makes many people assume the dime is silver.
Under normal circumstances, having a dime does not equate to having plenty of money. However, having a rare dime can significantly change your financial status.
If you have an uncirculated 1976 dime with an MS65 grade or higher, you could sell it for hundreds or thousands of dollars. One with rare errors, such as the double struck error, can also earn you some big bucks.
Have you got one of those rare 1976 dimes? Get a certified coin grader to appraise it. You might soon become the next luckiest guy in town.