Roosevelt dimes are quite a common type of US currency and have been ever since the end of the Second World War to this day. The coin has seen various incarnations and metal compositions in those decades and some dimes can be worth quite a bit.
Does this apply to the 1969 dime, however? Is this coin unique or interesting enough to be worth anything past its face value? Should you look to add a 1969 dime to your collection or are those coins really only good in your wallet? Let’s find out below.
1969 Dime Value Chart
|1968 “D” Dime Value
|$0.15 to $0.35
|$1 to $2.50
|$5 to $10
|$20 to $215 and above
|1968 Dime with No Mint Mark Value
|$0.15 to $0.35
|$1 to $2.50
|$5 to $15
|$60 to $250 and above
|1968 “S” Proof Dime Value
|$3 to $5
|$3 to $5
|$5 to $7
|$10 to $135 above
As is evident from the chart above, most Roosevelt dimes from 1969 aren’t worth much above their face value. This is quite normal for coins that have been released into wide circulation in such mass quantities as the 1969 dime as well as for coins with a fairly low face value.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t 1969 dimes worth collecting, however. If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a 1969 Roosevelt dime that has only seen limited circulation (and therefore – limited wear and tear) or one that hasn’t been in circulation at all, such well-preserved and high-quality coins can be worth many times their face value.
What’s more, the fact that there are many 1969 dimes doesn’t mean that some of them are unique. During the mintage of every coin, there is the risk of certain rare and specific manufacturing errors that can make individual coins very special, unique, and valuable for collectors. So, in a way, the large mintage of these coins means that there are quite a few different error dimes that are worth money.
1969 “D” Dime Value
The first of three variants of the 1969 Roosevelt dime is the Denver-made dime. This coin is recognizable by the tiny “D” mint mark above the coin’s date on the obverse side. This mint traditionally used to put its mint mark on the bottom of the reverse side of dimes but changed this the year before that, in 1968. So, the 1969 “D” dime is the second mintage with a mint mark on the obverse.
This is pretty much the only way in which 1969 and 1968 Roosevelt dimes differ from those before them. These coins still sport the expected design by John R. Sinnock on both sides, they are still made out of a mix of copper and nickel, they still weigh only 2.27 grams, and they still only measure 17.9 mm in diameter.
On the obverse, these coins have Roosevelt’s face looking leftward, toward the word “Liberty” going along the left edge of the coin. Just below Roosevelt’s chin n smaller font is written “In God we trust”, Sinnock’s initials “JS” are written just below Roosevelt’s neck with the year 1969 right next to them. The tiny “D” mint mark is just above the year.
What’s funny about these and other Roosevelt dimes is that the “JS” initials have been the subject of controversy for many decades – a lot of conspiracy theorists used to spread the rumor that these are actually the initials of Joseph Stalin and the US Mint was, supposedly, trying to popularize Stalinism in the US.
This conspiracy was fueled by the Red Scare that was rampant in the country after the Second World War but it was also aided by the fact that many right-leaning Americans didn’t really appreciate Roosevelt’s left-leaning social policies despite their popularity in the country as a whole.
Additionally, there were rumors that John R. Sinnock didn’t even design the coin himself as he wasn’t feeling well at that period and the coin was actually designed by his assistant, Gilroy Roberts.
All this is just trivia, of course, as these theories have no backing whatsoever. As for the reverse side of the coin, also designed by Sinock, it features a torch, an oak branch, and an olive branch. The traditional motto “E Pluribus Unum” (From many, one) is written behind and in between the three items while the words “United States of America” and “One Dime” are written all around them.
So, does the fact that these coins were rather “ordinary” mean that they aren’t rare? Well, the Denver Mint made a total of 563,323,870 of them in 1969 alone, following the minting of 480,748,280 others in 1968. In other words, the 1969 dime isn’t considered a rare coin as most of these coins have spent decades in circulation and some can even be found in people’s wallets today.
This doesn’t mean that individual 1969 dimes can’t be rare or special, however. The large mintage means that there are quite a few coins that were made with certain interesting manufacturing errors that make them stand out and attract the attention of numismatists and other collectors. Such special coins can easily sell well above their face value and even into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Still, this isn’t the type of coin that will make someone rich all on its own. It is a very good collector’s item, however, especially for novice collectors.
1969 No Mint Mark Dime Value
Dimes with no mint marks may seem like some weird, unique, and valuable manufacturing error at first but these are just coins made by the Philadelphia Mint rather than the Denver or San Francisco Mints. The reason these coins don’t have a “P” mint mark or something similar is that the Philly Mint didn’t use to put mint marks on their coins for quite some time.
Putting this aside, there isn’t anything all that special about 1969 dimes made in Philadelphia. There were 145,790,000 such coins made in 1969, so they are “less common” than those made in Denver while still being far from rare. The average quality of the Philadelphia mintage that year seems to have been slightly higher, however, which somewhat explains the relatively higher average value.
The difference isn’t all that significant, however, and even with it – individual coins from either mint can still be of equally great quality and of equally high value. So, with no-mint-mark 1969 dimes as with those bearing a “D”, you still need to look for the same things – most will be circulation coins with lots of wear and tear on them that aren’t worth much but a rare few will be worth collecting.
1969 “S” Proof Dime Value
The last variation of the 1969 dime are the proof coins produced by the San Francisco Mint. There were 2,934,631 such coins made in 1969, and, like all proof coins, these were made utilizing an entirely different technology and coating. Unlike regular circulation coins, proof coins aren’t meant as currency so much so as collector’s items, for display, or as “proof” against counterfeits.
The production of proof coins is more expensive than that of regular coins and it includes special proof blanks that get specially treated, cleaned, and hand-polished. This is why the US Mint then sells these coins to collectors to make a profit as they wouldn’t be worth it otherwise. That’s also why the quantity is always significantly smaller.
Additionally, because of how they are made, proof coins always come in a few different sub-variants too. The first 50 to 100 coins that come out of minting always look extra polished and detailed and bear the grade “Deep Cameo”. The next hundred or so coins also look better than those that’d come next and are graded as “Cameo” quality.
All the millions of proof coins that come out of this process next have the regular “proof” grade – they are still significantly more detailed and better-looking than the ordinary circulation coins made in Denver and Philadelphia but they are not quite as desirable as Deep Cameo and Cameo proofs.
So, aside from these general notes that apply to all proof coins, is there anything else that’s particularly special about the 1969 proof dimes? Unfortunately – no, not really. Rather, these coins are so “normal” that, even with their significantly better quality, they aren’t even more valuable on average than most high-quality “D” or no-mint-mark 1969 dimes.
These proofs are, of course, more valuable than ordinary circulation dimes – these are just worth their face value – but collectors today seem to value an uncirculated no-mint-mark or “D” 1969 dime with a rare error more than a similar 1969 proof dime.
This doesn’t mean that such coins aren’t worth collecting, of course. In fact, this moderate value makes them a great set for beginners to focus on until they can move on to more valuable items.
1969 Dime Grading
Grading dimes are quite simple – it’s just like grading any other coin. First, you need to establish the year and mintage of the coin, then you need to look for its quality, i.e. how well-preserved it is. The next thing that matters is how rare that quality grade is for this coin – the rarer it is, the more valuable the coin.
Lastly, you’d want to watch out for certain rare manufacturing errors that can further make the coin even rarer and more interesting.
Lists of 1969 Dime Errors
Errors are the last big piece of the puzzle when determining the value of your 1969 dime. While the high mintage of these coins means that there are many of them, it also means that there were lots of opportunities for coins with manufacturing errors to come out of the mint. And, indeed, many did.
Not all errors are created equal, of course – some are so dull and unappealing that they don’t really increase a coin’s value even if they are technically rare. The blank planchet error is a prime example of that – it’s just an error where the coin hasn’t been minted on the metal disk at all.
The errors you’d want to look for, however, are those that are both rare and visually appealing or, at least, interesting. Here are a few examples we’ve detailed below:
1969 Dime Double Die Error
The classic double die error isn’t unlikely on a 1969 dime – this error occurs when the coin’s metal planchet has moved a tiny bit between the two strikes of the minting die. When this happens, the design of the coin gets a little blurry or distorted because the two strikes don’t match completely. This is quite an interesting and often even pretty error that can bump up a coin’s value quite a bit.
1969 Dime Off-Center Error
The off-center error is similar to the double die error – the difference here is that the coin’s planchet has shifted before the first strike of the die rather than between it and the second strike. When this happens, there is no blurry effect but the coin’s design gets minted off-center. If the shift is small enough for most of the coin’s design to still be visible on the planchet, this is considered a pretty good outcome.
1969 Dime FAQ
What is special about a 1969 dime?
Sadly, not much, at least not in the mintage as a whole. Individual 1969 dimes can have a lot of interesting errors or specifics about them but 1969’s series as a whole doesn’t have anything particularly noteworthy about it.
Does a 1969 dime have silver in it?
A 1969 dime shouldn’t have any silver in it as these coins were made with a clad metal alloy of copper and nickel. Hypothetically, a dime or two may have been accidentally minted on a silver planchet as such errors sometimes occur but we haven’t heard of anything similar happening with a 1969 dime.