100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins Series: 1982, No Mintmark, Roosevelt Dime

A key coin in a series of coins always has a specific reason for being dubbed so. This next coin in our blog series covering Whitman Publishing’s 100 Greatest United States Modern Coins definitely has its reason. With guidance from authors Jeff Garrett and Scott Schechter in this fourth edition of the publication, we will take a look at a ten cent denomination that breaks the top 30 and has a strong distinction among its “correct” counterparts.

#30 - 1982, No Mintmark, Roosevelt Dime

Pre-1979, coins were historically produced at the Philadelphia Mint and did not feature mintmarks. When Susan B. Anthony dollars started being coined in 1979, they all had mintmarks (‘P’) including those that came from Philadelphia. By 1980, all coins excluding the Lincoln cent featured mintmarks. However, in 1982, the first mistake occurred due to the change and an obverse die for the 1982 Roosevelt dime did not feature the mintmark it was supposed to. This created the 1982, No Mintmark, variety.

At the time, dimes were being struck at Philadelphia and Denver, alluding to the fact that the dime could have been coined at either facility. In the early 1980s, coinage hubs did not include the mintmarks as they were added to the dies (which were all made in Philadelphia) before being put in use or shipped to the facility. This process would indeed contribute to the omission of the 1982 dime missing its mintmark.

Evidence does, however, provide the assurance that the coins were struck in Philadelphia and is called the 1982, No P, Roosevelt dime. The first examples were found in Ohio in late 1982 and some were discovered in Pennsylvania. Numismatists went on to discover that there were also weak and strong examples of the 1982, No Mintmark, dime. The strong featured fine detail and the weak variety was soft as the date also melds into the rim. The exact same dies were used for both, concluding that misaligned dies or weak striking pressure were the cause of the weak variety.

It is not exactly known how many exist of the 1982, No Mintmark, Roosevelt dime. Approximately 10,000 are known to collectors, just a fraction of the over 500 million produced. There is not another mintmark omission known between then and 2007, boosting the dime’s status and becoming more and more sought after. It is indeed a key date in the series.

In the first edition, this coin was ranked #23. It has moved down seven spots to its current ranking (#30).