Circulating Coins


The “Roosevelt” theme is the current design of the U.S. 10-cent coin. The U.S. Mint first issued this design in 1946, soon after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Mint released it on January 30 of that year to honor his birthday. The obverse (heads) shows Roosevelt’s profile. The torch, olive branch, and oak branch on the reverse (tails) represent liberty, peace, and strength.

The dime was a logical choice for honoring Roosevelt because he supported the March of Dimes, a program that raised funds for research to find a cure for polio. He contracted polio when he was 39 years old.

The Mint made the first dimes in 1796. They were small silver coins. The designs from 1796 to 1837 showed Liberty on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. In 1837, a wreath design replaced the eagle. Liberty, in various forms, stayed on the dime until 1946.

From 1916 to 1945, the Mint produced the “Mercury” dime designed by Adolph A. Weinman. The obverse showed a profile of Liberty wearing a cap with wings to represent freedom of thought. The design got its name because it reminded people of the Roman god, Mercury. A fasces – a bundle of rods tied around an axe – and an olive branch appeared on the reverse. The two symbols represented America’s military readiness and the desire for peace. The Mercury dime is considered one of the most beautiful coins in our country’s history.

In 1965, the Mint removed silver from the dime and the composition became copper-nickel clad.

Other Circulating Coins:

Penny | Nickel | Quarter | Half Dollar

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Obverse (heads): Shows the left-facing bust of Franklin D. Roosevelt, featured since 1946.

Reverse (tails): Displays a torch with an olive branch to the left of it and an oak branch to the right. The torch signifies liberty, the olive branch peace, and the oak branch represents strength and independence.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • Year

Reverse Inscriptions


Mint and Mint Mark


Composition Weight Diameter Thickness Edge No. of Reeds
8.33% Ni
Balance Cu
2.268 g
0.705 in.
17.91 mm
1.35 mm Reeded 118

The Mint makes the dime for circulation, as well as uncirculated and proof finishes for collecting. The Denver and Philadelphia Mint facilities make the circulating and uncirculated coins and the San Francisco Mint makes the proof coins.

Artist Information

  • John Sinnock

Related Information

Content last reviewed December 9, 2022

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