Who is on The United States Dime?

US Dime design: Torch, olive branch (left), and oak branch (right)

The United States dime is a 10-cent coin featuring President Franklin D. Roosevelt on its front. Roosevelt, the 32nd president, has appeared on the dime since 1946. This honors his leadership and his role in the March of Dimes, a campaign that fought against polio.

Why is President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the dime?

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: 32nd President of the United States.
  • Presidency: Served from 1933 to 1945, leading through the Great Depression and World War II.
  • New Deal: Implemented policies to revive the U.S. economy and support citizens.
  • Health Challenges: Contracted polio at 39, showcased resilience despite disability.
  • Legacy: Remembered for leadership, economic recovery, and wartime guidance.
  • On the Dime: Featured since 1946 as a tribute to his dedication and his support for the March of Dimes, which funded polio research.

What else does the coin feature?

The U.S dime showcases distinct designs and symbols representing fundamental national values.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the dime

Front (Obverse)

  • Portrait: Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Symbolism: Represents Roosevelt’s leadership and legacy.
  • Inscriptions: “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and the year of minting.

Back (Reverse)

  • Design: Torch, olive branch (left), and oak branch (right).
  • Symbolism: Torch represents liberty, olive branch symbolizes peace, and oak branch signifies strength and independence.

Overall Features

  • Size: Smaller than other coins like quarters or nickels.
  • Material: Primarily composed of a copper-nickel alloy.

Historical Evolution of the dime

  • Early Beginnings: The first U.S. dimes were minted in 1796, crafted initially from silver.
    • Reeded Edges: Added to prevent silver clipping, enhancing security.
  • Design Changes:
    • Liberty-Themed Designs: Early dimes depicted various representations of Liberty.
    • Winged Liberty Head: From 1916 to 1945, featured a design often mistaken for the Roman god Mercury.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Introduction:
    • 1946 Introduction: Roosevelt’s portrait was placed on the dime shortly after his death.
    • Connection to Polio: Honored for his support of the March of Dimes and personal battle with polio.
  • Material Shift:
    • Silver to Copper-Nickel: Transitioned from silver to a copper-nickel alloy over time.
  • Symbolism on Reverse:
    • Torch, Olive Branch, and Oak Branch: Added to symbolize liberty, peace, and strength respectively.
  • Ongoing Legacy:
    • Current Design: Maintains Roosevelt’s portrait and the reverse’s symbolic imagery.
    • Reflection of History: The dime’s evolution mirrors significant historical and cultural shifts in the United States.