The choice to memorialize President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the dime, made shortly after his death in 1945, was a fitting one. Having served as president of the United States for 12 years from 1933 to 1945, he successfully led the nation through several of its most tumultuous periods, from the Great Depression to World War II. Due to this service to his country, Roosevelt was a revered figure.
Numismatically, however, his administration is not remembered fondly. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6102, which mandated the recall and melting of countless gold coins in 1933, had a large impact on the hobby.
While 90% silver Roosevelt dimes were manufactured from 1946 through 1964, they were replaced by the nickel-clad copper coins that we know today. This was due to increases in the price of silver that dramatically raised the costs of coin production for the United States Mint in the 1960s.
Business strike clad Roosevelt dimes have been minted at the Denver Mint since 1968. But while the Denver facility was the first to strike a mintage of over one billion pieces of the 90% silver type in 1964, it would not be until 1994 that it would do so again.
The Market for the 1989-D Dime
When combined, PCGS and NGC have certified 760 examples of the 1989-D Roosevelt dime. PCGS has graded 489 of the examples, while NGC is responsible for 271. Of these, a surprising 46% earned either the PCGS Full Bands (FB) or NGC Full Torch (FT) designation. When compared to the 1989-P Roosevelt dimes, nearly 30% more of the 1989-D issue have been designated as FB or FT.
Unlike scarce varieties or other US types that have much smaller mintages compared to the 1989-D Dime, there are almost certainly many uncertified dimes still extant in high grades and worthy of FB/FT designations. It would not be unusual at all for a collector to find a mid-to-high Mint State example in pocket change. Even today, the fact that the coin was struck in base metal (copper clad in nickel) when combined with the large mintage of 896,535,597 pieces means that they will likely be seen for many years.
Examples in low grades bring no premium over face value and should probably be spent unless used to fill a hole in a date or type set. Even mid-to-high-grade examples are worth between face value and $1 USD.
Only examples in mid-to-high Mint State hold any real value. Examples between MS-65 and MS-66 sell regularly for between $3 and $7, while examples in MS-67 and MS-68 can sell for between $25 and $100. The auction record was set at $167 with an MS-68 sold on eBay in October 2018. As can be expected, FB/FT examples sell at a premium over standard MS types. While examples do not necessarily need to be in Mint State to earn an FT or FB designation, it definitely helps, and most are actually in mid-to-high Mint State
Low Mint State (MS-60 to MS-63) graded examples with a FB/FT designation can be procured for between $5 to $7 without any difficulty, and examples graded up to MS-66 and MS-67 are worth only approximately $20 to $35. However, truly Gem examples (MS-68 and MS-69) have a larger value of between $150 – $400, with the auction record of $677 for an MS-68 set in January 2011 in an eBay sale.
If you’re interested in finding a high-grade example of the 1989-D dime, you should look through Mint Sets. In 1989, the US Mint packaged and sold 1,987,915 sets that contained all of the circulating types from both Philadelphia and Denver. Today, the Denver half of the 1989 Mint Set can be acquired for as little as $2.50.
Most of the obverse design consists of a left-facing bust of President Franklin Roosevelt. In the northwest quadrant, directly in front of Roosevelt’s face, is the standard legend LIBERTY. Below the presidents’ chin, in smaller letters is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. Directly below the neck truncation on the bust are the designers’ initials (JS). Placed at a slightly higher line than the motto and to designer’s initials right is the date (1989). Unlike earlier dimes struck before 1967 that have the mintmark on the lower reverse to the left of the torch, the “D” mintmark is on the obverse above the date (1989).
Centered in the reverse design is a flaming torch symbolizing liberty. The torch sits between the olive branch of peace on the left and the oak branch of victory on the right. Split into four parts between the branches and torch is the USA’s traditional motto: E PLURIBUS UNUM. Since the words are divided as follows, E PLU / RIB / US U / NUM, there are centering dots between each word. This central design is completely surrounded by the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA at the top and the slightly larger denomination ONE DIME on the bottom.
The edge of the 1989-D Roosevelt dime is reeded with 118 reeds
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 designs of both the Roosevelt dime and the Franklin half dollar.
|Year Of Issue:||1989|
|Denomination:||10 Cents (USD)|
|Mint Mark:||D (Denver)|
|Alloy:||75% Copper, 25% Nickel|
|OBV Designer||John R. Sinnock|
|REV Designer||John R. Sinnock|
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