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Many coin collectors are hunting for rare 1965 Roosevelt dimes. They are ready to pay thousands of dollars to acquire them.
In this article, I’ll show you to discern these rare precious dimes from the rest of ordinary ones. And I’ll help you get an estimate of its value.
For nonexperts, the 1965 dime is a worthless coin; its monetary value is only one-tenth of a US dollar and its melt value is basically negligible.
It is made from a copper core sandwiched between two layers of cupronickel (75% copper, 25% nickel). With a mass of only 2.268 g, the metal value isn’t that big of a deal.
But, experts and coin collectors know how to find rare 1965 dimes that are worth thousands of dollars.
In this article, I’ll show you how you can do the same and make money by selling your valuable 1965 dimes.
Before 1965, dimes (and other coins) were made out of silver. Because of the rising prices of silver and to discourage people from hoarding this coin, the US mint switched to copper and nickel.
But some silver planchets left from 1964 were accidentally minted in 1965. These are rare dimes and they are extremely precious.
More on that later, I’ll show how you can identify silver 1965 Roosevelt silver dimes in the next paragraph.
For now, we will focus on the value of a “normal” dime that has neither errors nor is a rare variety.
A normal 1965 Roosevelt dime can be sold for a couple of hundred dollars if it has a high grade.
This means that the coin has to be shiny, its details should be visible and has no scratches. After more than 50 years in circulation, this is difficult to find.
And the general rule says, the rarer the more expensive it is.
For example, a coin that has a grade of MS 68 (the highest grade is 70) was sold for 800 $. Not bad for a dime.
For those who are wondering about the mint mark location, the answer is simple…
There is no mintmark.
Apparently, the US mint did that for the same reason they decided to stop using silver.
Millions of 1965 dimes minted with nothing to distinguish them from one another. This means that there’s no reason that will make collectors hoard them.
The rest of the design elements were kept the same. The obverse depicts the president franklin Roosevelt and on the reverse, you find an oak, a torch, and an olive branch.
The transitional error of the 1965 Roosevelt dime
1965 Roosevelt dime is a transitional coin. In that year, the US mint changed the composition from 90 % silver and 10% to 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel.
Some of the planchets that were supposed to be struck in 1964 slipped in the production line and were minted in 1965.
These are very rare. Many didn’t know that they did even exist and for how much money they can be sold.
Each one of these rare dimes can be sold for more than 5000 dollars. Look for them, they can be in your pocket change right now and you didn’t know it!
The clad and silver dimes are similar in appearance. You can visually distinguish between the two by examining the rim.
Clad dimes are made from three layers. The central layer is copper. And the outer layers are cupronickel.
When they wear out, the copper will be visible. This an ordinary dime and it’s not very precious.
For silver dimes, the edge will be always shiny even it is badly scratched because it is composed of 90 % silver. These are the money-making good stuff.
There’s a more accurate way to distinguish between silver and cupronickel. You have to weigh them.
The silver dime weight is 2.51 grams whereas the cupronickel weighs 2.27 grams. You only need a simple scale to start the hunt for fortune.
Special Mint Set (SMS)
A special mint set (SMS) is simply a set of five coins: cent, nickel, dime, quarter, and half-dollar. The quality of the strike is higher than that of the average coins in circulation.
The dies were specially treated. And the pressure used to strike the planchets is higher to make the details as clear as possible. These coins are packaged in a special container and were made specifically for collectors.
1965 SMS dimes are valuable; each one of them can be sold for 2000 $.
To do that you need to send the dime to a grading company with the entire set of five coins in the original package. Tell them if you want that you want only the 1965 dime to be graded. This way they examine, grade and validate that your dime is an SMS.
Full bands & full torch
The full bands and full torch are relatively new designations. They were introduced in 2003. Although the criterions are not very different, there is no consensus between the different companies about the meaning of these designations.
After receiving feedback from collectors and dealers, PCGS (one of the four leading coin grading companies) decided to introduce the “full band” (FB) designation.
In order to qualify, the horizontal pair of bands (both upper and lower) on the torch (on the 1965 dime reverse) have to be distinctively separate and the line separating the two has to be continuous.
The NGC, chose to use the “full torch” (FT) designation two weeks after the PCGS introduced the (FB). They require that all the bands on the torch (both horizontal and vertical) should be distinct and fully separate.
Why should you care about them?
The value of your dime will increase substantially if your dime was graded by a certification company as a “full band” (FB) or a “full torch” (FT). It can be sold for somewhere around three thousand dollars.
Quality issues could occur during the minting process which lead to deformed or damaged coins.
For all of the industries, quality issues are considered as defects. They make any product less valuable.
However, these defects (errors) can increase the value of any coin dramatically. The 1965 dimes isn’t an exception.
The reason behind this counter-intuitive thing is that these dimes are rare. And every collector wants them.
Add to that the magic of the supply and demand law and you can sell your error dimes for thousands of dollars.
In this paragraph, I’ll share with you a list of some of the common errors that increase the value of the dime.
The minting machine makes coins by striking a metal planchet. Sometimes, under the intense pressure, the die cracks, which leaves raised lines on the coin.
This error is called “die break”. And it can increase eth value of your 1965 dime.
When the coin is not properly aligned, the design will be struck to one side or another. The value of dimes with this error depends on the degree of the off-center and the grade.
It also depends on whether the date is missing or not. If the date (1965 in this case) is visible on the dime, its value will increase.
When a foreign object is stuck between the die and the planchet, it will leave an impression on the surface of the coin.
In this case, the coin is said to be struck through this object. This foreign object should be big enough to leave a mark like wires.
Stuff like dust can’t, usually, cause this error because it won’t be visible and the mark will be erased gradually after circulation.
The 1965 dime was made from a copper core and two nickel layers that cover this core. Sometimes the outer casing is missing. It can be on both sides or on one side. The copper will be exposed and the dime won’t look shiny.
Weigh the coin to make sure that it is really the missing layer error, not a simple surface discoloration. 1965 dimes with this error will be lighter than usual (2.7 grams).
This error can increase the value of your dime up to 400 $.
These three errors happen before the planchet has been struck with the die.
The first one is the clipped planchet, which leads to a coin that has a missing part. It looks like the bitten Apple logo.
The planchet can also be thinner or thicker than the regular size. The 1965 dime should be 0.053 in (1.35 mm) thick.
If the machine malfunctions and fails to eject the dime before the next planchet is fed, the two will land on top of each other and will be smashed and bonded.
Although the end result will look deformed and not appealing at all, some collectors are ready to pay extra for bonded 1965 dimes.
If some parts of the design (for example the date 1965) are struck twice with a slight overlapping misalignment, then you have a double die error.
It can increase the value of your dime depending on its condition.
The monetary and metal value of the 1965 dime are negligible. However, if your dime has one of these qualities: SMS, Full bands (or full torch), the silver error and minting errors its value increases up to a few thousands of dollars.