“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” – Depression area song by E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and composer Jay Gorney
During the Great Depression of the 1930’s the United States coinage included pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar coins. The dimes, quarter, half dollars and dollar coins were minted of 90% silver and 10% copper. According to the CPI calculator on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ten cents in 1932- the year the song Brother Can You Spare a Dime first hit the airwaves – would have the buying power of $1.76 today.
The Mercury Dime (1916 – 1945)
The dime that someone down and out on their luck was asking for in 1932 was most likely a Mercury Dime that was minted from 1916 to 1945. This dime has a silver content of .07234 ounces. Today, that silver dime, at a price of silver around $14.25 an ounce would have a silver content value of about $1.05.
With the recent lower prices of silver, historic and classic Mercury dimes can be purchased close to the spot price of silver! You can buy Mercury Dime in increments of $1 face value (ten times), $5 face value (in rolls of 50) or $100 face value (in bags of 1,000).
The Roosevelt Dime (1946 – present)
The Roosevelt Dimes, like the Mercury Dime, was minted in 90% silver from 1946-1964. The Roosevelt silver dime is identical in design to Roosevelt Dimes minted since 1965. These dimes make ideal barter items as they are easily recognizable and valued for their silver content. To verify that a Roosevelt dime is 90% silver, one only has to check the dime to see if it is date prior to 1965.
2016 Roosevelt Dime/1964 Silver Roosevelt Dime Front
Pre-1965 silver dimes are virtually indistinguishable from copper clad versions of the coin dated 1965 – present.
2016 Roosevelt Dime/1964 Silver Roosevelt Dime Back
This article by BGASC is not, and should not be regarded as, investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular course of action.