PARRIS ISLAND COINS » 1970 Dime Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

1970 Dime Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

1970 Dime

The Roosevelt dime was created to pay tribute to one of the most important presidents the United States has had in more modern times: Franklin D. Roosevelt. He led the country during World War 2. The 1970 dime value, however, is quite low due to the large production of the coin.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the 1970 Roosevelt Dime, such as value, design, history, grading, and errors.

1970 Dime Value Chart

Series/Mint Mark Very Good – Excellent MS65 MS67
1970 No Mint Mark Dime Value $0.12 $2-9 $0.30 – $10
1970 D Dime Value $0.12 $0.12 – $3 $0.30 – $10
1979 S Proof Dime Value     $1 – $10 +

The Roosevelt Dime from 1970 is not a rare coin. Over a billion coins were minted in 1970 alone across three different Mint Locations. The Mints used were Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. Coins that exist of this magnitude are going to have a much lower monetary value.

Most 1970 dimes you’ll come across will not be worth much more than their face value. A single coin can sell for $0.12 – $1. The range will depend on things such as the coin’s condition, how scratched up it is, what level of detail remains on the design, how urgently the seller wants to sell, and your urgency to buy, etc.

While one seller might sell one average coin for face value, another might want a few bucks for it.

In Philadelphia, 345,579,000 coins were struck. All coins reveal where they were produced based on their design – or lack of design details. Most coins have a so-called mint mark. This is a small letter that represents the location where this exact coin was minted.

The most popular Mints in the United States are located in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.

The ones minted in Denver have the letter “D” located somewhere on the coin’s obverse or reverse. Coins from San Fransisco carry the letter “S”. Philadelphia coins, until 1980, did not have a mint mark. Once they started putting it on the coins, they used the letter “P”.

Other popular Mints are New Orleans (O) and Carson City (CC).

Mint marks are important because coins from different locations can have different values based on how many coins they struck in each mint.

For example, the 1970 dime was produced in three locations, but only in Philadelphia and Denver did they create coins for commercial use. In San Francisco, they only minted special proof coins made for collectors and not currency circulation.

1970 No Mint Mark Dime Value

1970 No Mint Mark Dime Value
Image Credit: usacoinbook

The design of the 1970 dime was created and engraved by sculptor John R Sinnock, who has designed several of America’s coins. It features Franklin D. Roosevelt’s left-facing portrait in the center of the coin.

The centered portrait is quite large and covers a large portion of the obverse. In front of his face is the word “Liberty” capitalized. This appears on almost all American coins. The same as the motto “In God We Trust”. On this 1970 Dime, the motto is found right underneath his chin.

Behind his neck, both the designer’s initials, “J.S”, and the coin’s minting year is found. Which in this case is 1970. The overall design is a classic one, with nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to coins.

The reverse side of the coin is usually where the designers are allowed to be more creative. This particular coin features three main elements in the center of the coin. The design is complicated and busy.

In the very middle is a lit liberty torch. To the left of the torch is an olive branch. This is something seen on many coins. On the other side of the torch is an oak branch. What these three elements represent are:

  • Freedom
  • Peace
  • Victory

Put together they symbolize the United States of America. The nation’s name is also written in capitalized letters along the upper rim of the coin, stretching from side to side. Along the bottom rim is the denomination of the coin – “one dime”.

In between the torch, the olive branch, and the oak branch is the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum”, which translates to “out of many, one”. Another symbol for America.

Furthermore, the coin has a reeded edge. It weighs 2.27 grams and has a diameter of 17.9 mm. Its composition is made up of 90% copper, and 10% nickel.

Very early versions of the dime were composed by Mercury. Later they moved on to silver. In the mid-60s, however, the price of silver increased until the point where it got too expensive to use silver in currency. The silver alone was worth much more than the value of the coin itself, regardless of denomination.

The US government decided that all coins, henceforth, would be composed of copper and nickel.

As mentioned, the general worth of the No Mint Mark coin is close to its face value. In special cases, however, they can be valued over hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This depends on exact conditions and potential errors on the coin which makes it unique.

The history of the coin contains some level of controversy. While Sinnock is the credited designer of the coin, many believe credit should go to Selma Burke – a black female sculptor. Her original design predates Sinnock’s and looks very similar.

Burke claimed that Sinnock copied her design, and she kept this stance until she died in the 1990s. It has never been proven that the design was stolen, but it’s an interesting case.

Another interesting aspect of the coin’s history is that the US Mint had to officially announce what the initials “J.S” stood for. Many Americans believed the conspiracy theory that it was the initials for Joseph Stalin.

1970 D Dime Value

1970 D Dime Value

The Mint in Denver produced a much larger volume of coins than in Philadelphia. A total of 754,942,100 coins were minted there. In some cases, this would make the value of this coin lower, but in this case, it has no impact on the value.

Its value can range anywhere from $0.12 – $1. In special cases, a coin can be sold for hundreds of dollars.  In 2014, this exact coin type was sold for $646 at an auction.

1970 S Proof Dime Value

1970 S Proof Dime Value
Image Credit: pcgs

In San Francisco, the Mint usually does not produce coins for commercial use. Rather they create proof coins which are made for collectors. These coins take longer to mint since they have a greater level of detail and are overall better-looking coins than those in circulation.

2,632,810 of these proofs were minted in San Francisco. As you see, the volume is dramatically lower than those produced in either Denver or Philadelphia. While these are more valuable than the others, they don’t reach the high limits that other proof coins do. These are often valued between $1-$10.

Special coins, with a good MS grade, can be sold for a few hundred dollars.

1979 Dime Value Grading

Experts know what to look for when determining the value of a coin. Different types of coins have a special feature that is highly regarded.

Oftentimes, facial features need to be visible for a coin to get a better grade. Coins that are circulating for a long time see the details getting smudged out. This results in a roundness of the face, which is not desirable for collectors.

There is one particular feature that can make a well-preserved dime go from a low value to a significantly higher one. It has to do with the bands located on the torch, and how visible they are.

These bands are located on both the upper and lower part of the torch. Both need to be kept in great condition to be highly valued.

The reason details like this are so highly valued is often that it was difficult to produce during the mint process. It can be the case that to produce clear-cut lines the strike must be really hard on a perfectly centered coin. Since that exact combination might be rare, only a few coins come out with that exact level of detail desired.

Rare 1970 Mint Error List

There are some coins that are unique due to an error that occurred during the minting process. An error can make a coin worth thousands of dollars to collectors. When it comes to older coins, it’s important to pay close attention to these errors.  Are they truly minting errors or wear and tear from 50 years in circulation?

Here are some errors within the 1970 dime that has been spotted.

1970 S Proof No Mint Mark

1970 S Proof  No Mint Mark
Image Credit: coinappraiser

As mentioned earlier in the article, the coins of this series without a mint mark are the ones minted in Philadelphia. While that is supposed to be true, an error occurred in San Francisco during the minting process.

A couple of thousand proof coins were minted without their required mint mark. According to experts, about 2200 of these were created, and between 1000 – 1500 still exist today. Keep in mind that these are proofs, which means they never saw circulation. That means they can be found in various proof sets. 20 years ago, one of these error coins was sold for $1.600 at an auction. Adjusting for inflation, that’s about $2600.

1970 Dime Double Die

1970 Dime Double Die
Image Credit: ebay

A more common, but highly valuable, error is the doubled die. This error occurs when a die hits the planchet twice at slightly different angles. This creates overlapping images on top of each other. Not all double die strikes are an error visible to the naked eye, but rather you’ll need a magnifying glass to identify the errors.

Very significant errors of this kind value the 1970 coins to up to $500. Others can be sold for slightly less.

1970 Off-Center Strike

1970 Off-Center Strike

This issue occurs when the planchet is not properly centered. The die then hits the planchet at an angle. The result is that the image on the dime is not where it’s supposed to be.

It can be so far off-center that major parts of the coin’s design are missing. Sometimes there’s a 10-20% space on the coin because the strike was so off.

1970 Broad Strike Error

This is another example of dies that do not hit the planchet in the very center. The difference between this and the off-center strike is that broad strikes keep the entire design intact.

Broad strikes tend to go outside of the edge, or collar, of the coin. This creates an illusion that the text close to the edges is somewhat elongated.

1970 Dime Value FAQ

What is a 1970 no s dime?

The no S refers to the proof coins that were mistakenly struck without a mint mark. All coins, proofs, and otherwise, from San Francisco have the S mint mark. The 1970 No S Proof coin can be valued at a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Experts believe that about 2200 of these No S Mark proofs were minted in 1970, and that about 1000 – 1500 of them are still around today.

This mistake happened in three different years: 1968, 1970, and 1983.

How can I tell if a dime is rare?

See if there is anything unusual about the coin. When it comes to older coins, however, it’s important to make sure these differences don’t simply come from years of circulation, rather than it being a minting error.

The best way to have a coin evaluated is to send it to an expert.

What does the S mean on a dime?

S is the mint mark. A mint mark is a way to show where the coin was struck. S stands for San Francisco. D is for Denver and P is for Philadelphia.

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