How Much Does a Dime Weigh?
How much does a dime weigh? A dime weighs 2.268 grams. Read on to learn about dime weights, as well as the evolution of the dime from 1796 to the present. You’ll also find out more about their design, composition, and weight.
There were several changes in the weight of a dime over the years. It changed from 2.67 grams to 2.49 grams in 1853. This was due to the rise in the price of silver. Then it changed to 2.50 grams in 1873 due to an attempt to make U.S. coins the currency of the world. This made the weight of dimes, quarters, and half-dollars increase slightly to be similar to the weights of French coins.
Up until 1965, dimes were approximately 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. After that, they had two outer layers of cupro (91.67 percent copper and 8.33 percent nickel) and an inner layer of pure copper. The weight of this new dime was 2.268 grams. You can see that the answer to the question, “How much does a dime weigh?” has changed over the years.
History of the Dime Coin
There have been six different designs for dimes since the U.S. Mint began making them in 1796. Obverse is the name of the front side of a coin and reverse is the back side. Following is an explanation of each of the six dime designs:
Draped Bust 1796 to 1807 - The obverse of this coin had a profile of Lady Liberty with a draped bust. The 1796 dimes had 15 stars, one star for each state, and the 1797 dimes had 16. The director of the U.S. Mint realized there would not be room to continue this pattern, so the next dimes just had 13 stars for the original colonies. The reverse shows an eagle perched on a cloud, with palm and olive branches around him. In 1798, this design was altered to show a more heraldic eagle and was basically a scaled down version of the Great Seal.
Capped Bust 1809 to 1837 - The obverse had Lady Liberty facing the opposite way from previous dimes and she had a capped bust. On the reverse, an eagle held three arrows and an olive branch. There was a U.S. shield on his breast and the inscription "10 c" at the bottom.
Seated Liberty 1837 to 1891 - The obverse had Lady Liberty wearing a dress, sitting on a rock, and holding a staff with a liberty cap on it. To her side, her hand is balancing a shield with the word “Liberty” across it. In 1838, the obverse had 13 stars added to it around the edge. The reverse had ONE DIME inscribed on it surrounded by a laurel wreath. In the mid-1860s, the laurel was replaced with corn, wheat, maple, and oak leaves.
Barber 1892 to 1916 - This dime is named after its designer, Charles Barber. Lady Liberty is shown from the neck up and she is wearing a liberty cap and a laurel wreath on her head. She also has a headband with “liberty” written on it. The reverse is almost identical to the Seated Liberty dime.
Winged Liberty Head 1916 to 1945 - The obverse of this dime shows a mythical goddess Liberty wearing a liberty cap with wings. The cap symbolizes freedom, while the wings stand for freedom of thought. The reverse has fasces, which is a bundle of sticks with an ax, in front of an olive branch. This was to symbolize readiness for war and a desire for peace.
Roosevelt 1946 to present: This dime was designed to honor President Franklin Roosevelt, partly for his support of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which was renamed later as the March of Dimes. The obverse had the head of Roosevelt with the words “Liberty” and the inscription “In God We Trust.” The reverse had a torch, oak branch, and olive branch that symbolized liberty, victory, and peace.