General Comments About the Availability and the Strike Characteristics of the 1946 through 1964-D Roosevelt Dime.
Most collectors will have very little difficulty locating date and mintmark examples for their collections. All commercial issues (those dimes issued for general circulation) are usually available in single or roll quantities. The exceptions are the lower mintage issues of 1949, 1949-D, 1949-S, 1950-S, 1951-S, and 1952-S which are more difficult to locate, but should not be considered scarce. A collector should have little trouble locating any of these issues at a decent coin show or a reputable coin shop. Rolls of all dates and mintmarks should be available at larger regional coin shows and conventions.
Collectors opting to include proof coins in their collections will find that most coin dealers have many of the 1957 through 1964 issues in stock. The 1953, 1954, 1955, and 1956 proofs are generally a little more difficult to find, but are not scarce. The 1950, 1951, and 1952 are the most difficult to locate. A major coin show is probably the best place to find these earliest proof issues.
Because Roosevelt dimes are so abundant and specific dates are easily available, the cost of many of these coins is often only slightly higher than the silver value of the coins themselves. For this reason, most coins found for sale in coin shops and at coin shows are in uncirculated grades. Almost all circulated Roosevelts are bought and sold as bullion related items with little or no numismatic value.
As is often the case, mintage figures alone do not determine the rarity or value of coins in the Roosevelt series. Many low mintage issues, such as those from 1955, are examples of coins which were hoarded in quantity. As a result of this hoarding, these coins are as plentiful and inexpensive as dates with much higher production figures.
Mintage figures from 1946 through 1964 are given on the following pages. In addition to this chronological listing, the yearly mintage figures from 1946 through 1964 ranked from lowest mintage to highest mintage are also provided.
Annual Production Figures for Roosevelt Dimes from
1946 through 1964
1950 50,130,114 + 51,386 proof
1951 103,920,102 + 57,500 proof
1952 99,040,093 + 81,980 proof
1953 53,490,120 + 128,800 proof
1954 114,010,203 + 233,300 proof
1955 12,450,181 + 378,200 proof
1956 108,640,000 + 669,384 proof
1957 160,160,000 + 1,247,952 proof
1958 31,910,000 + 875,652 proof
1959 85,780,000 + 1,149,291 proof
1960 70,390,000 + 1,691,602 proof
1961 93,730,000 + 3,028,244 proof
1962 72,450,000 + 3,218,019 proof
1963 123,650,000 + 3,075,645 proof
1964 929,360,000 + 3,950,762 proof
Annual Production Figures From 1946 through 1964 Ranked
From Lowest Mintage to Highest Mintage
1. 1955 12,450,181 + 378,200 proof
2. 1949-S 13,510,000
3. 1955-D 13,959,000
4. 1955-S 18,510,000
5. 1950-S 20,440,000
6. 1954-S 22,860,000
7. 1949-D 26,034,000
8. 1946-S 27,900,000
9. 1949 30,940,000
10. 1951-S 31,630,000
11. 1958 31,910,000 + 875,652 proof
12. 1947-S 34,840,000
13. 1948-S 35,520,000
14. 1953-S 39,180,000
15. 1947-D 46,835,000
16. 1952-S 44,419,500
17. 1950-D 46,803,000
18. 1950 50,130,114 + 51,386 proof
19. 1948-D 52,841,000
20. 1953 53,490,120 + 128,800 proof
21. 1951-D 56,529,000
22. 1946-D 61,043,500
23. 1960 70,390,000 + 1,691,602 proof
24. 1962 72,450,000 + 3,218,019 proof
25. 1948 74,950,000
26. 1959 85,780,000 + 1,149,291 proof
27. 1961 93,730,000 + 3,028,244 proof
28. 1952 99,040,093 + 81,980 proof
29. 1951 103,920,102 + 57,500 proof
30. 1954-D 106,397,000
31. 1956-D 108,015,100
32. 1956 108,640,000 + 669,384 proof
33. 1957-D 113,354,330
34. 1954 114,010,203 + 233,300 proof
35. 1947 121,520,000
36. 1952-D 122,100,000
37. 1963 123,650,000 + 3,075,645 proof
38. 1953-D 136,433,000
39. 1958-D 136,465,000
40. 1957 160,160,000 + 1,247,952 proof
41. 1959-D 164,919,790
42. 1960-D 200,160,400
43. 1961-D 209,146,500
44. 1946 255,250,000
45. 1962-D 334,948,380
46. 1963-D 421,476,530
47. 1964 929,360,000 + 3,950,762 proof
48 1964-D 1,357,517,180
Roosevelt dimes are similar to most other coins when strike characteristics are discussed. Coins struck from new dies will show all details of both obverse and reverse design elements. Well struck obverse examples will show all hair, ear and facial details and will have sharp, bold letters and numbers. Reverse details on well struck coins will include split bands on the torch, separate vertical torch lines, all branch and leaf details, and sharp bold letters. As working dies begin to wear, details become less sharp, may appear "mushy" or often begin to disappear. Roosevelt obverse dies had a working lifetime of about 150,000 strikes and reverse dies had a lifetime of about 165,000 strikes. It is not uncommon to find coins which were struck late in the life of a reverse die which exhibit so much loss of detail that portions of flame or entire leaves are missing on BU specimens.
Many coin grading services now designate Roosevelt dimes as being “full torch” or as having “full split bands”. Dimes designated as having full split bands must have fully and distinct upper and lower crossbands. In general, the upper crossbands are usually more fully struck than the lower crossbands on most non-proof issues. The lower crossbands should be given great scrutiny when searching for, or grading, full split band Roosevelt dimes. “Full torch” dimes must exhibit separate and distinct vertical lines in the torch itself, as well as meet the requirements of “full split bands”.
It is well known that all working dies are manufactured at the Philadelphia Mint and shipped to the Denver and San Francisco facilities. It is an interesting observation that BU coins issued from the San Francisco Mint often appear to have a "milky white", "satiny" or slightly "frosty" appearance. Although this characteristic is not exclusive to coins issued from the San Francisco Mint, it is certainly one that is observed much more frequently on San Francisco produced coins than on coins issued from the other mints. This occurrence has been theorized as happening for a variety of reasons by many professional numismatists. Regardless of the individual theories, all concur on one point. It is agreed that the cause or causes are "in house" variables that originate at the San Francisco Mint. Whether this is the result of planchet preparation, production practices of individual mint employees, press striking pressures, or the length of the run of individual dies, this is still a characteristic that collectors will associate with the San Francisco Mint.
Doubled die varieties can occur for a variety of reasons. Almost any feature on a coin can exhibit doubling at one time or another. This doubling is often limited to the few coins produced from a doubled working die. Doubling may also occur on a great number of coins if a doubled hub was present. In any case, it is rare for any specific area of doubling ( the "Y" of LIBERTY, the tips of the flame or the date) to occur from one year to the next with any regularity. As doubled dies are produced from a haphazard series of events, it would seem that no single feature of design should always become doubled. There is, however, one area on the Roosevelt obverse that will show doubling with great regularity on coins produced at all mints throughout the 1946-1964 series. This is not to say that every coin will exhibit this doubling, only that it can be found throughout the series on coins from all years and from all mints (including proofs). The area susceptible to this doubling is found at Roosevelt's lips. The doubling in this area does not appear to be caused by strike doubling (sometimes called machine or ejection doubling). As suggested by some, it may be caused by routine die polishing and maintenance. Perhaps after this characteristic has been studied in greater detail, a definitive explanation as to the cause will be established. As for now, let it suffice to say that the doubling in this area is simply a characteristic of the series.