In 1783, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and David Rittenhouse made the first known proposal for a decimal-based coinage system in the United States. The first dime, the Draped Bust, appeared in 1796 and underwent a series of design changes before giving way to the Capped Bust Dime in 1809. The Capped Bust was sporadically minted until 1820, when the coin went into annual production (with the exception of 1826).
In 1837, the Liberty Seated Dime debuted. This coin included multiple varieties throughout its 54-year run. Arrows at the date in 1853 and 1873 indicated modifications made in the coin’s mass. The greatest rarities in the Liberty Seated Dime series are the 1873 and 1874 Carson City Dimes with arrows and the one-of-a-kind 1873 Carson City Dime without arrows.
The Barber Dime, named after its designer, Charles Barber, appeared from 1892 to 1916. This dime includes one of the most classic American rarities, the 1894-S Dime. While 24 were minted, only nine are accounted for.
Typically referred to as the Mercury Dime, the Winged Liberty Dime was issued by the mint from 1916 to 1945. The head, a depiction of Liberty donning a cap with small wings at the ears, evokes the god Mercury, and was meant to signify freedom of thought.
In 1946, the United States memorialized President Franklin Delano Roosevelt by producing a dime in his honor. With the passage of the Coinage Act of 1965, the composition of the dime changed from 90% silver to clad, which consists of copper and nickel alloys over a pure copper center.