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Do you own a dime from 1935 and would like to know what it is worth? Perhaps you have heard of some old coins selling for thousands of dollars and are wondering about the 1935 dime value.
While the majority of 1935 dimes are not extremely valuable, some specimens have sold for thousands. In this article, we explore not only the average valuations of 1935 dimes but also the record auction sales, rare errors, and the grading system used to determine a coin’s value.
1935 Dime Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Very Good VG8||Extra Fine EF40||About Uncirculated AU50||Uncirculated MS60||Uncirculated MS65|
|1935 No Mint Mark Dime Value||$3.43||$4.48||$6.66||$12||$41|
|1935 D Dime Value||$3.43||$10.17||$24||$41||$106|
|1935 S Dime Value||$3.43||$6.66||$21||$36||$47|
The Mercury Dime is a ten-cent coin that was issued by the United States Mint in 1916 when it replaced the Barber dime. It was last minted in 1945 after which it was replaced by the Roosevelt dime.
When the US Mint decided to replace the previous dime after 25 years in circulation, they invited outside artists to contribute fresh design ideas. The winning design, out of over fifty submissions, was a portrait of Lady Liberty by Adolf Weinman who already had experience in coin design having worked on, for example, the Walking Liberty half dollar before the dime.
Despite his previous experience, the process was not smooth. This was mainly because of the objections of Chief Engraver Charles Barber. He felt that the designs of the Mercury dime as well as several other coins renewed around the same time were not suitable for coin production. These delays meant that the first Mercury coins were not minted until October 1916.
Issues Over Weinman’s Initials
As we mentioned earlier, the designer’s initials on the Mercury dimes are on the obverse of the coin and visible to the right of the portrait. The public and some Mint officials were not happy with the placement or the size of his initials. Because of their position, Weinman’s initials were seen as advertising the designer.
This was because, on earlier coins, the designers had placed their initials in places where they could hardly be seen. However, external artists, like Weinman, worked on commission and therefore needed more recognition that would help them attract new clients. Despite complaints and Weinman’s willingness to change the position, the initials remained in their original position.
1935 No Mint Mark Dime Value
In 1935 there were 58,830,000 dimes minted in Philadelphia, which was a much higher number than the other two mint facilities that produced dimes in 1953. You can identify the dimes minted in Philadelphia because they have no mint marks.
Because so many dimes were minted in Philadelphia, the coins are not considered particularly rare even at higher grades. While an MS60-graded coin is valued at $12, an MS65-graded coin is still only worth just $41. You can find out more about the grading system a little later in the article.
The auction record for a 1953 no mint mark dime is $1,140 from an eBay sale in 2021. While this is still a decent price, it pales in comparison with other Mercury dimes such as the 1916 D with an auction record of $29,900.
Features of the 1935 Dime
The dimes in 1935 were minted with a mix of 90% silver and 10% copper. The coin’s weight is 2.5 grams and it has a diameter of 17.9 millimeters. The 1935 dime is 1.95 millimeters thick and it is a round coin with a smooth edge.
The Obverse of the 1935 Dime
A coin’s obverse is the side more commonly called the heads. On the 1935 dime, the obverse features an image of Lady Liberty who is facing left. On her head, she wears a winged cap. The wings are symbolic of freedom of thought.
The word LIBERTY is above the portrait and the minting date is struck below the portrait. In front of the portrait is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The designer’s initials AW are behind the portrait at the same height as the motto.
The Reverse of the 1935 Dime
At the back of the coin, which is known as the reverse, is a fasces, The fasces is a bundle of sticks or rods tied together by a band and often includes an ax. It is another nod towards ancient Rome, where it was used as a symbol of power and authority. On the American coin, it symbolized the federal government’s power and the unity of the United States.
On the 1935 dime, the bundle is depicted vertically and three bands are used to tie the rods together. It is surrounded by olive branches to symbolize peace. The name of the country UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is on the top of the bundle and the coin’s denomination ONE DIME is below it. The Latin phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM is to the right of the bundle.
On the Denver and San Francisco minted coins, the mint mark is on the reverse. You will find a D for Denver-minted coins and S for San Francisco-minted coins after the letter E in ONE and below the olive branch.
1935 D Dime Value
The Denver Mint produced 10,477,000 dimes in 1935 and although it is a lower figure than Philadelphia’s, both mint varieties are valued the same in very good condition. However, higher-grade D-minted 1935 dimes are more valuable than the Philadelphia variety. They are also more expensive than San Francisco minted dimes.
An AU50-graded coin is almost four times the value of a no mint mark dime with the same grade and $3 more valuable than an S-minted dime. An uncirculated 1935 D dime graded as MS65 is worth $106.
The auction record for a 1935 Denver minted dime is from a 2006 Heritage Auctions sale. The coin was graded as MS68 by the Numismatic Guaranty Company. The guide price was $3,250 but it was sold for $2,300.
1935 S Dime Value
The San Francisco Mint released 15,840,000 dimes into circulation in 1935. Like the other varieties, they are fairly abundant in lower grades and not considered very rare in higher grades either. Their valuations reflect their easy availability. Uncirculated MS60 and MS65 graded 1935 S dimes are valued at $36 and $47, respectively.
Despite its lower valuation at MS65 compared to the D-minted 1935 dime, the highest auction record between the three mints belongs to a San Francisco dime. It was achieved with an MS68-graded coin in 2014. It sold for $3,819 at Heritage Auctions.
Full Band Coins
So far we have looked at the values of regular strike coins with reasonably modest prices. However, some 1935 dimes command higher prices than those listed above. These are 1935 dimes given the designation FB.
FB stands for a full band and refers to the number of bands tying together the bundle of rods on the reverse of the coin. Many Mercury dimes do not have all the bands and those that do, are valued significantly higher.
The auction record for a 1935 no mint mark dime with MS68FB designation is $11,213 from 2006 and for Denver variety graded MS67FB it is $17,250 from 2000. However, the highest record by far belongs to an S minted 1935 dime with full bands. It sold for $90,000 in 2019. The coin was graded MS68+FB.
The Designer of the 1935 Dime
The designer of the Mercury dime Adolph A. Weinman was a renowned designer and sculptor. He was also behind the Walking Liberty half dollar, considered one of the most attractive coins in American coin history.
Weinman was born in Germany but immigrated to the United States with his family when he was still a child and he grew up in New York. He first studied arts at the Cooper Union and the Art Students League and later at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Other than coins, Weinman worked in other artistic fields, including architecture, design, and sculpture. Notable sculptures Weinman designed include the equestrian statue of General Philip Sheridan in Washington, D.C.’s Sheridan Circle, and the figures on the pediment of the Supreme Court Building also in Washington.
Weinman was a member of the American Academy of Arts as well as the National Academy of Design. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States and around the world. Today, he is regarded as one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century.
1935 Dime Grading
The 1935 dimes, just like all other coins, are graded using a 1 to 70 scale known as the Sheldon scale. The lowest grades are used to describe coins in poor (1-2) or fair (3-4) conditions. Because of the wear and tear these coins show, they are not worth more than their face value.
The next grades are good (6-10, very good (12-20), fine (25-45), very fine (20-55), extremely fine (40-58), and about uncirculated (50-59) for circulated coins. The overlapping grades allow for some flexibility in grading and help to accommodate the variation in coins’ conditions that can occur over time.
The grades from 60 to 70 are used for uncirculated coins. For most coin varieties, these are the coins collectors are most interested in. Coins graded MS70 are considered to be perfect with no visible flaws and high-quality strikes. For most minting years and most coin types, MS70-graded coins are very rare or even non-existent.
This video from Coinweek explains the grading of circulated Mercury dimes in more detail.
Rare 1935 Dime Error Lists
1935 Dime RPM Error
Some 1935 dimes minted in San Francisco have an error known as the repunched mint mark error. These errors are created when the first mint mark is struck in the wrong position or orientation. It would then be struck again to correct the error, resulting in a doubled mint mark, with one of them in an incorrect spot.
A lot of times these errors cannot be spotted with the naked eye and you will need to look at the coin with a magnifying glass. If you spot an RPM error on a 1935 dime, it could be worth more than regular coins. However, the valuation of the coin depends on the overall condition of the coin as well as the severity of the error.
1935 Dime Off-Center Strike Error
Sometimes coins can be incorrectly positioned during the minting process and the die strikes off-center. As a result, the design is not in the center of the coin, and parts of it may be missing.
These errors can range from 1% to 99% and the valuation of the coin depends on its condition and the severity of the error. However, it is not the case that the most severe error coins are worth the most. Instead, generally, the most popular off-center coins have a 50% error and still have the date visible.
Also read: 13 Most Valuable Dime Errors Worth Money
1935 Dime Frequently Asked Questions
Is a 1935 dime worth anything?
While regular strike 1935 dimes are not worth huge amounts of money, most of them, even at lower grades, are worth more than their face value. Coins graded MS68 can be worth a few thousand dollars. However, if the coin has full bands around the bundle of wood on the reverse, it can be worth significantly more.
Is a 1935 dime pure silver?
The 1935 dimes are not pure silver but they do have high silver content. They were made with 90% of silver and 10% of copper.