Adam Starkey

Can't find what you want?

We are here to help. Contact us.

Roosevelt Dimes

Franklin Delano Roosevelt served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until 1945 and was the only president elected to 4 terms. A central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century, Roosevelt died in office on April 12th, 1945, aged beyond his years by the twin burdens of the greatest economic depression in the nation’s history and the most devastating war of all time. As the country mourned its fallen leader, the American public was eager to memorialize Roosevelt in some significant way. Within the Treasury Department, plans were quickly laid for the introduction of a new coin to honor Roosevelt. Since the late president had been afflicted with polio, the dime was chosen to bear his portrait— a testament to the “March of Dimes” fundraising campaign to end Polio that began during Roosevelt’s first term. Straying from a 40-year tradition of enlisting outside artists, U.S. Mint Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock was appointed to design the new coin, which features a left-facing portrait of Roosevelt on the obverse, while the reverse features an upright torch to symbolize freedom, flanked by branches of olive and oak, representing peace and victory. Notably, the small initials “JS” of the designer also appeared below Roosevelt’s portrait, which resulted in unexpected controversy shortly after the coin was released in 1946. With America newly concerned by the post-war threat of the Soviet Union, a rumor quickly spread that the initials JS were those of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. As ludicrous as this may seem now, the U.S. Mint was forced to issue a statement identifying John Sinnock as the coin’s designer and dispelling any claims of a communist connection. The Roosevelt dime continued to be struck in silver every year until rising bullion prices necessitated a compositional change to copper-nickel clad in 1965. Today, the Roosevelt dime enjoys widespread circulation and continues essentially unchanged in design since its introduction over 70 years ago.

Your Cart

Continue to Checkout