President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s portrait on the dime was a fitting choice in 1946.
He was a revered figure for many of the “Greatest Generation”: those who lived through the Great Depression (1929-39) and prevailed in World War II (1939-45). Though his administration was not without criticism (numismatists might lament his 1933 Executive Order 6102 that mandated the recall and melting of countless gold coins), he nonetheless enjoyed great popularity both in this country and abroad and was the nation’s only four-term president.
After Roosevelt died in office, the mourning of a nation gave impetus to honoring him on a circulating coin.
It is commonly accepted that Roosevelt had been afflicted by polio, though that diagnosis has been called into question by recent research. Because the March of Dimes, which funded polio care and research, started during Roosevelt’s first term in office, matching the dime to Roosevelt made sense.
Ninety percent silver Roosevelt dimes were manufactured from 1946 through 1964. The continual rise in the price of silver bullion in the early ’60s caused the United States Mint to replace the silver in all circulating coins with a copper-nickel clad composition, effective with 1965-dated coins.
Business strike clad Roosevelt dimes have been minted at Philadelphia every year starting with 1965, and at Denver every year since 1968. San Francisco has produced clad Proofs since 1968, and both clad and silver Proofs since 1992. No Proofs were minted in 1965, 1966, and 1967, though Special Mint Sets with those dates were produced. The coins for these sets were specially prepared, but the quality of finish is somewhere between a Proof and a regular business strike.
Dimes from 1965 through 1967 display no mintmark; Denver (D) and San Francisco (S) mintmarks from 1968 forward are placed on the obverse above the final digit of the date. Philadelphia dimes since 1980 have carried a P mintmark, and a W-mintmarked dime (for the West Point Mint) was issued in 1996. The P and W mintmarks also appear above the last date digit.
Nearly all clad Roosevelt dimes are affordable. Circulation strikes with FB designation (Full Bands, the bands on the torch) and Cameo/Deep Cameo Special Mint Set coins from 1965 through 1967 are priced two to 10 (or more) times higher than coins without those distinctions. Coins with additional price premiums are the No Mintmark issues: the 1982 circulation strike, and the 1968, 1970, and 1983 Proofs. Prooflike circulation strikes are also listed in census/population reports.
The Non-Mint Set Years: 1982-1983
Roll hoarders and coin dealers saved 1982 and 1983 Mint output because of the discontinuation of Mint Sets for these two years. And while collector enthusiasm for clad issues has never truly taken off, the clad issues of 1982 and 1983 do not have a backstop of a million or so United States Mint Sets to help collectors fill holes.
Adding complexity to the equation, most coins struck for circulation during this period were struck with overused dies and lack the visual “pop” of mint set coins.
The 1982-D dime was saved in higher numbers than its Philadelphia Mint counterpart, and because of this, the issue sells for only a slight premium over the price of other raw uncirculated dimes of the 1970s to early 1980s period.
The Market for the 1982-D Dime
For many classic coin series, one can gain a fairly deep insight into the availability of Mint State examples by reviewing the population reports from NGC and PCGS. Naturally, one has to look at the current data understanding a few caveats.
One, coins may cross over from one company to the other without being deleted from the census data. It is not unusual for the same coin to appear in both company’s datasets as there is no reporting requirement of cert number deletion on the part of dealers, collectors, or the competing service.
Two, coins in certified holders sometimes upgrade. In the event that a coin is sent in for reconsideration (a process where the coin stays in its existing holder unless it upgrades) and warrants an upgrade, the services will typically delete the old cert number and change the population report to align with the coin’s new grade. If the coin is cracked out and resubmitted as a raw coin and upgrades, it is likely that the coin will be represented in the census data in two places: the grade that was previously assigned to it and the grade it is assigned now. In this situation, where the overreporting is most acute is in grades just below grades where the market value of the coin is dramatically higher. An “in-between” coin that just might push to that next lucrative grade might be submitted several times in hopes that it will eventually upgrade. This game wouldn’t be played if it didn’t occasionally work. In the process, the data a collector or dealer has to go by is muddied.
For a modern coin series, especially one where the value of most examples in most grades is low or equal or less than the cost of submission, certified populations offer more limited insights.
Such is the case with the 1982-D Roosevelt dime. Let’s take a quick look at the combined populations of all coins (Mint State coins and Mint State Coins with Full Torch / Full Bands designations)
In evaluating the 1982-D Roosevelt dime population data, we can make two assumptions.
The first assumption is that only a fraction of the total number of Mint State coins for this issue extant has been submitted for grading. PCGS’s mathematical formula suggests a survival rate of over 400,000 pieces in Mint State. This is an imprecise number, but there is no way to truly gauge the number of coins in the marketplace, in collections, in rolls, and in Federal Reserve Bank holdings. That said, it is very likely that several hundred thousand examples from the mintage of over 542 million do survive in Mint State and will continue to survive for decades if not a century or more.
The second assumption that we can make is that the majority of the coins submitted for encapsulation were picked for quality by their submitters with a desire that the coins would earn the FB or FT designation and grade MS66 or better.
Why MS66? MS66 represents the lowest grade in the census where a coin will likely sell for a profit. Coins graded lower have an expected retail value that is less than the cost of acquisition of the coin plus the cost of certification. Typically, the sellers succeeded in pre-screening coins at the MS66 level. Infrequently, these coins were struck well enough to earn the FB or FT designations. And less frequently, submitters put forward coins that would earn the superb Gem grade of MS67. PCGS graded no example finer than MS67+, while NGC certified a total of seven (five without and two with the FT designation) and one nearly-perfect example in the grade MS69.
How Stable is the Data?
Modern coin populations balloon after high profit triggering events, but only if the relevant material is easily available on the secondary market. After a 1995-W American Silver Eagle graded PR70DCAM by PCGS brought $86,654 at an April 2013 auction, the floodgates opened, and dealers and wholesalers across the country raced to submit 1995-W silver eagles in hopes of fast and easy profits until the tide rolled out. At the 2013 sale, the certified population of the coin at the PR70DCAM level was just eight pieces. The buyer, identified only as an East Coast collector, had purchased not just a coin but a ticking time bomb. Today, PCGS has graded 427 examples at the PR70DCAM level and one can be easily be had today for less than $14,000.
The 1982-D Roosevelt dime may or may not be like the 1995-W Silver Eagle. There are no wild price swings to report from one grade to the next, simply because there are no public auction records for the sale of the small handful of NGC coins graded MS68 or better. What we do see is that the grades of MS66 and MS67 are fairly easily found, which indicates to us that if a rush of coins for this issue were submitted, that a slow trickle of MS68s, MS68 FB or FT coins, and possibly even a few MS69s might appear.
What is the Market for the 1982-D Today?
In Mint State in its raw form, the 1982-D dime for $1 to $2. Examples offered on eBay with higher quality photographs may trade for $4 or $5 each. We rate this coin as slightly more abundant than the 1982-P, which sells for a dollar or two more.
Once certified, the market for the 1982-D dime changes dramatically. At the MS65 level, the coin is a loser. The typical example brings $15 or less, which is less than the cost of submission. For collectors of modern certified coins, it is always an awkward position to hold a coin that is graded lower than the majority of coins graded as these coins provide no benefit in the Set Registry competition. At MS66, the typical certified grade, coins bring $15 to $20. With Full Bands or Full Torch, few examples have been offered recently. One example listed on eBay at the time of writing is being offered for $104.99. PCGS CoinFacts suggests a retail value at $110.
At MS67, coins without Full Bands or Full Torch Designations trade for $80-$100. With Full Bands or Torch designations, a major price discrepancy exists between the two grading services. A December 2014 Heritage sale of an NGC MS67FT saw a price with Buyer’s Premium at $117.50, while an April 2014 sale of a PCGS MS67FB saw a record price of $1,410. Was there truly a quality difference that substantial between the two pieces? We haven’t seen either in hand, so we cannot say.
Would the NGC MS68FT coins bright PCGS MS67FB money at auction? Presumably yes. In August 2018, Stack’s Bowers auctioned one, which brought $1,140. At the time, the coin was a pop 1, the finest known for the date and designation. Today, it is a pop two coin with none finer. The PCGS MS67FB and the NGC MS68FT did sell for nearly $300 apart, but the time frame should be considered. 2014 was a stronger coin market than August 2018. What would the two coins bring today? Our belief is the numbers would more closely align.
So, depending on the condition of the coin, one can say that a 1982-D Roosevelt dime can be worth as a little as face value (for circulated pieces) to as much as $1,400 for the finest known. That’s quite a spread for America’s most diminutive circulating coin.
A left-facing profile of Roosevelt occupies most of the obverse space. Inside the smooth rim in front of Roosevelt’s face is the word LIBERTY. IN GOD WE TRUST in smaller letters is positioned below the chin. The date 1982 is squeezed into the space inside the rim and beneath the neck truncation, to the right of the designer’s initials JS, which are just below and oriented parallel to the edge of the neckline. The mintmark “D” is located at the back of the head between the date and the truncation of Roosevelt’s neck.
Completely encircling inside the reverse smooth rim are the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and (slightly larger letters) ONE DIME, the two phrases separated by centered dots. In the center is a flaming torch, flanked by an olive branch to the left and an oak branch to the right. Forming a horizontal line through the base of the torch and both branches is a partitioned E PLURIBUS UNUM, with centering dots separating the three Latin words.
The edge of the 1982-D Roosevelt dime is reeded.
John R. Sinnock (1888-1947) served as the eighth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1925 through his death on May 14, 1947. He is responsible for the design of both the Roosevelt dime and the Franklin half dollar.
|Year Of Issue:||1982|
|Denomination:||10 Cents (USD)|
|Mint Mark:||D (Denver)|
|Alloy:||75% Copper, 25% Nickel|
|OBV Designer||John R. Sinnock|
|REV Designer||John R. Sinnock|
* * *