Underappreciated 1950-S Roosevelt Dime

It appears we may need to pay more attention to the Roosevelt dime. The Roosevelt dime may require some attention because it is unclear if it has been given any since 1946. The 1950-S suggests we should at least try to estimate Roosevelt dime availability.

Mint State has traditionally considered the 1950-S a finer Roosevelt dime. There were several dates with lesser mintages, therefore the 1950-S was not considered harder despite its 20,440,000 mintage. Naturally, the idea of a “tougher” Roosevelt dime makes others giggle as there is no Roosevelt dime in MS-65 that threatens to breach $100 soon. There are no MS-65 Roosevelt dimes over $75, therefore “tougher” is rarely used.

Roosevelt dimes in Mint State. Everyone cited the 1949-S Roosevelt dime in one of those rare instances. Compared to other low-mintage dates like the 1955 dimes from all three mints, the 1949-S looks to have the optimum combination of low mintage and poor saving, making it a superior date for pricing.

The 1949-S was ahead, but someone spotted the 1950-S was missing. It made sense. A 1950 date and a low mintage made the 1950-S easy to ignore. In the same year, the 1950-D Jefferson cent debuted. No one would have chosen the 1950-S dime over the 1950-D Jefferson nickel in 1950.

The 1950-S Roosevelt dime cost $7 in MS-60 in 1998, which was not inexpensive. No Roosevelt dime in MS-60 was $10, but the 1949-S was $9. Few expected the 1950-S to be the second most expensive MS-60 Roosevelt dime.

The 1949-S has climbed to $35 in MS-60 since 1998, an astonishing gain for any Roosevelt dime, but especially in MS-60 since we would expect the huge rises in MS-65. MS-65 prices the 1949-S at $60 and the 1950-S at $35.

Current pricing seem to have it backwards, making the situation even more intriguing. Grading agencies say the 1949-S is easier to find in lower Mint State grades than the 1950-S in MS-65 and up. The 1949-S costs $2,405 and the 1950-S $1,690 for uncirculated rolls. The 1950-S uncirculated rolls may eventually match the 1949-S.

Because the 1950-S isn't expensive enough to warrant grading, the totals may be questionable. With more coins submitted, pricing and everything could change substantially. It may be time to pay greater attention to Roosevelt dimes like the 1950-S since there may be additional surprises.

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