The 1958 Roosevelt Dime Awaits

Unfortunately, most Roosevelt dimes have been priced higher in recent years. Since prices reflect the market and most Roosevelt dimes have changed little in recent years, it's hard to see the bright side.

Perhaps the fortunate side is that coins go through cycles of popularity and periods when few care about a given variety. That's good, but the Roosevelt dime may be waiting for its first popular cycle

Despite a few tiny bursts of enthusiasm, the Roosevelt dime may be due for a major interest after more than half a century. Three of the four lowest-mintage Roosevelt dimes were struck in 1955. The 1955 dual die obverse cent and the 1955-S cent and dime, the San Francisco Mint's last coins, overshadowed that wonderful event.

Many potentially good Roosevelt dimes have gone unnoticed throughout the years. One is the 1958 dime. There is little published about the 1958, mainly because Roosevelt dimes are rarely written about. Nearly as crucial is that the 1958 doesn't stand out in Roosevelt dimes' peaceful environment.

With it not even standing out in Roosevelt dimes, the 1958 may not stand out at all. Reason begins with the 1958 mintage of 32,785,652. Consider that there has been no lower-mintage dime since 1958. However, closer inspection shows that Roosevelt dimes with that mintage were rare. Since the 1917 Mercury dime had a mintage of over 55 million, the 1958 is not a common dime.

Philadelphia dimes were released in proof and mint sets in 1958. However, only 50,000 mint sets and 875,652 proof sets were produced, far fewer than in 1957 or subsequent years. Thus, 1958 reserves are scarce.

MS-65 1958 is $10 today. Any dime costs over $300 when silver costs $50 an ounce. In the late 1970s, an MS-65 1958 Roosevelt dime was likely $1 or $1.50. The 1958 Roosevelt dime in any grade becomes more desirable as silver than as a date in a collection at even less than $50 an ounce. Proofs would be divided up for silver in the dime, quarter, and half dollar

The 1958 may have been melted for a profit over what a dealer or collector would have paid for a year. We don't know how many 1958 dimes were destroyed, but it's an interesting question.

Our mintage data suggests the 1958 is a preferable date. We know it suited the profile of a melted date. Today at $10 in MS-65, there is no significant indication that it is better, but with little pressure on Roosevelt dimes, we cannot be sure if the 1958 supply, especially in MS-65, is adequate. Only with increased demand can we assess the supply and learn about 1958.

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