By CoinWeek …..
 

A common question we receive from CoinWeek readers relates to the modern rarity 1975 “No S” Roosevelt dime. With only two examples known, this Proof issue is one of the most elusive and expensive modern coins issued by the United States Mint. And while CoinWeek believes it is possible that an additional example or two may have escaped the notice of the Mint’s quality control team–not to mention generations of coin collectors–it is highly unlikely that a casual coin hunter, without the benefit of tens of thousands of unsearched Proof Sets, is going to discover another example in the wild.

But for those of you determined to try, let this article serve to help you distinguish between the common 1975 Roosevelt dime, worth only its face value in most states of preservation, and the ultra-rare 1975 No S Roosevelt dime in Proof.

Proof Coins vs. Business Strikes

To properly identify a 1975 No S Roosevelt dime, one must first be able to distinguish between a Proof coin that is made for collectors and a business strike that is made for circulation.

A circulation strike 1975 Roosevelt dime. This coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint and, as was customary at the time, was not struck with a mintmark. Philadelphia began employing the “P” mintmark on circulation strike dimes in 1980. Image: PCGS.

The example above is a circulation strike 1975 Roosevelt dime in the typical grade one might find in an original uncirculated roll or in a United States Mint Set.

Circulating coins are the coin struck by the U.S. Mint to be used in commerce. The coins that you spend every day and receive back in change are almost entirely comprised of business strike coins. When brand new, business strike coins will be flashy, lustrous, and convey the full details of the design as imparted by the coin dies. These coins are distributed at face value by the Federal Reserve System and make their way through the economy when private banks order coins. From here, the coins are distributed to bank customers, be they individuals or companies.

The United States Mint Uncirculated Set for 1975 contains one example of each denomination struck by the Mint from both Denver and Philadelphia. The Denver Mint coins are struck with a D mintmark. The coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint were struck without mintmarks, as was the custom at the time. This Mint Set can be purchased for $27.75 from Littleton Coin.

Freshly distributed coins gradually lose the visual appearance of newness. Over time, post-Mint damage from the environment, contact with other coins, and contact with oils and dirt from human skin dull a coin’s luster, wear down its details, and impart scratches and other forms of damage. No matter the scarcity or desirability of a coin, these factors impact its value. In the case of modern coins, with so many Mint State examples available, circulation wear and post-Mint damage all but diminish the coin’s numismatic value. As such, any circulated modern-era business strike is likely worth only its face value.

A close-up view of the rare 1975 “No S” Proof Roosevelt dime. This example was discovered in a United States Proof Set accompanied by Proof coins of each denomination struck that year. Note: the S mintmark that appears on each of the other denominations is missing on this example. Image: Stack’s Bowers / CoinWeek.

Proof coins are coins produced by the United States Mint using a special process to impart maximum detail onto the struck coin, to present the designer’s art in its full glory for collectors, who pay a premium for the privilege of owning them. Modern Proof issues struck after 1968 are sold in Proof Sets and housed in rugged plastic cases. Each coin will exhibit a deeply-mirrored field, will usually have some degree of frost or cameo on the coin’s raised design elements, and (should) exhibit the S Mintmark that denotes that the coin was struck at the San Francisco Mint.

Left: Business Strike 1975 Roosevelt dime. Right: Proof Strike 1975-S Roosevelt dime.

In a side-by-side comparison, the difference between a Business Strike and a Proof Strike is unmistakable.

In the illustration above, the coin on the left is a circulation strike 1975 Roosevelt dime. This coin has not been circulated and shows no sign of wear, therefore all of the details imparted from the coin die remain clearly visible on this example. Circulation strike 1975 Roosevelt dimes that do not contain mintmarks were struck at the Philadelphia Mint, which produced 585,673,900 dimes that year.

With the exception of a four-year run of billon silver nickels struck during World War II, no U.S. coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint were struck with a P mintmark until the release of the Susan B. Anthony dollar in 1979. Nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars followed suit in 1980.

The coin on the right is a typical example of a 1975-S Proof Roosevelt dime. This example has mirrored fields and frosted devices. It carries the S mintmark of San Francisco. Any Proof coin struck by the San Francisco Mint that does not have an S mintmark was struck that way in error and is potentially valuable.

But I’m Convinced I Found a 1975 “No S” Dime… What Do I Do?

Here is where we separate fact from fantasy. It would be nice to imagine ourselves finding a rare 1975 “No S” Roosevelt dime under our sofa cushion or in a jar of change, but the reality is one would have a much better chance winning the Powerball than finding a coin that has been hunted down by collectors and coin dealers for more than 40 years with only two examples to show for it.

Finding any great rarity and bringing it to market requires a few things, the most important being authentication.

The coin industry supports a small number of For-Profit grading services, the two most popular (and the two we recommend) are Florida-based Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and California-based Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). Both services have the professional experience necessary to properly identify a genuine 1975 “No S” Roosevelt dime and the integrity to properly handle and return your coin. Having a coin certified has a cost that can be significant due to the liability and value of the coin, and working with a professional numismatist who is an authorized dealer is recommended.

1975 “No S” Roosevelt Dime. One of two examples known. This example was sold at auction in 2019 for $456,000 USD. Image: Heritage Auctions.

Always protect yourself by checking references before committing to work with any dealer and make sure you have a written agreement with the dealer that explicitly lays out the terms under which you are working with them regarding your rare coin.

In the event that you discover the third 1975 “No S” Roosevelt dime, your best option to sell it would be through a major auction company. A professional dealer will be able to help you negotiate the terms of your consignment and give you an opinion on what the market value of your coin might be so that you can decide on what is the best course of action for you and your coin.

Often when we field calls concerning coins like this, the caller is excited and absolutely sure about what they have found but quickly loses interest once we spell out the steps necessary for them to authenticate and market their coin. There is no bag of money on the other end of the phone and, as we have stated, most people confuse a business strike 1975 dime–worth about 10 cents–with the rare Proof issue (no doubt due to amateur coin videos published on YouTube, or incomplete articles published elsewhere).

We hope this guide helps you, and even if we’ve bummed you out a little bit about your new find, do know that coin collecting is an interesting and rewarding hobby and we’d love it if you stay awhile.
 

18 COMMENTS

    • The article very clearly states what you should do. And that thing you should do does not involve contacting us about it.

  1. I found that a great thing to explain about 1975 no S. I got one if you are interesting about email me and i will send you the picture.

    • Lol .. Was just thinking the same thing .. Thats 5 new examples price will drop by the time i find my 3 examples hehe .. Keep hunting everyone its fun .

  2. For those commenting about their finds: if it’s not in a sealed US Mint proof set, you have found an ordinary Philadelphia mint dime, which in this year did not have a mint mark. It is worth 10 cents

  3. Im curious on the picture with coins side by side .. The right example which is a proof has a dbl edge on parts of the outer rim and the dimes diameter seems slightly larger .. May i ask if these are signs of a proif ..the dbl strike on edge .. And its just a bit flatter so its pancaked a little .?? I too have a 1975 i am wondering about … Greatful fan thanks for article

  4. I’m thoroughly amazed at even after reading this article people are still confused or in belief they have found one of the Holy Grail’s in mere pocket change or the old jar on the Shelf full of coins and don’t seem to grasp where have the understanding of how rare of a coin this actually is that my frustration actually is with people trying to sell this coin or other coins online that have no mint mark and trying to sell them as something rare when millions of them were produced by the Philadelphia mint with no mint mark I’m new to coin collecting and when I first started and I looked on eBay and all kinds of coins we’re being presented as something rare and error coins and trying to get a sense of what was what as far as value or worth of a coin but just now I noticed the selling price I’d like 20,000 or $40,000 that’s when I realized I needed to do a lot of homework a lot of reading and thank you for this article it was very helpful not just for me but hopefully for all these other yahoos out there trying to Peddle these coins off as something rare that’s what angers me I’m all for people selling stuff online I’m trying to make a living but they’re not trying to make a living there trying to rip people off and all it takes is one person to buy one of these coins thinking that they have purchase something of great value or potentially down the road when it’s just an ordinary coin but the comments from people who supposedly read the article still did not can any new knowledge and still thought that their coin was one of the rare ones even though 500 million of them were produced without mint marks just shows that are public education system it’s failing a lot of people because reading and comprehending go hand-in-hand you may be able to read but if you don’t comprehend what you just read then these are the people that these places online hope come along cuz they don’t have an understanding so how any of this works and it’s not hard stuff understand I’ve been doing this for about 6 months now and I would say that articles like this are great at explaining what the facts are & easy to read and come away with hopefully new knowledge but judging from a few of the comments there still people out there that just don’t come over here with any new wisdom and that’s the sad sad thing not the brightest bulb in the pack but I’m not the most dim one either but but if you can’t understand after reading this article then I think understanding is pretty much out the window you’re not going to get it and for the people who are selling these coins online at ridiculous prices either there ignorant don’t know what they’re selling or they do know with the intent to rip someone off which is probably their main objective they’re just stupid and don’t want to take the time to learn and they see a headline here or there and don’t do the research and don’t gain any kind of understanding of the Rarity of a coin and all the key factors that make a coin rare if 500 million coins were made that have no mint mark and it’s known in the coin collecting world that Philadelphia mint did not use a mint mark until 1980 so all those coins that are up for sale unless it has a grade from the Grading Company buyer beware cuz you’re more likely going to get ripped off and sold a piece of ordinary coinage

  5. I have this dime in fact I have two of them there is a big difference in the shine the dime I have has know mint mark and has a dark deep shine like it was just printed yesterday I have never seen a dime with a dark shine like this one I had it since 1976 it was my good luck charm I really want to keep it but I would sell it if I get what I want for it

  6. It’s very obvious to me that I’m just wasting my time telling anyone about this 1975 no mint mark dime when there is so many others out there I’m placing it in the bank vault along with my 1965 dime until I can do more research about maybe the bank manager might could help me on his spare time

  7. Most of the rare coins have been found and brought million of dollars it’s seem people are interested in what you have you have like its a fake or they only made one in the world I’m not wasting my time telling anyone else about my coins because they believe in only in what they already have

    • Sounds good Izeah. With your new found wealth, maybe you should invest in Reading Comprehension 101. Everyone has a 1975 no S courtesy of the Philadelphia mint. Maybe look into other specs to see if you can differentiate between a proof and business strike. Perhaps weight or thickness? Something other than it’s so shiny. You sound like the crab on Moana.

  8. I have three 1975 dime and no mint mark and two 1968 dime and no mint mark. Can you tell me how much is the value for all of those….Thanks.

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