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Low mintage, melting give dime potential

item1.jpgAt this point the 1958 Roosevelt dime seems to be one of those dates that might some day produce a surprise price increase. It turns 50 next week.

Of course it?s a sleeper in a sleeping set. Today almost all Roosevelt dimes are quiet and probably inexpensive. Normally we would suggest it?s just a cycle and that Roosevelt dimes will eventually have their time of active price increases, but it might be closer to a chronic condition than a cycle. It is hard to remember when the Roosevelt dime was last active and increasing in price.

It can be safely suggested that the 1958 has fit the Roosevelt dime profile. It is at $1.50 in MS-60 and just $8.50 in MS-65. Even in top grades it isn?t much more expensive than its simple bullion value.

Today?s prices are enough to make one question why there is any reason to believe the 1958 should be a better date. That is definitely a reasonable question.

The 1958 might be slightly better because of its 32,785,652 mintage. It happens to be the lowest Roosevelt dime mintage for a date released into circulation since 1958. In fairness, there were certainly other lower mintage Roosevelt dimes, such as any of the 1955 releases. Those 1955 dates were all heavily saved, if not hoarded, since a lot of the saving that year was centered around those low-mintage dimes.

In 1958 there was little to no saving. The 1958 Roosevelt dime was not alone since there were other low-mintage coins that year such as the 1958 quarter. Moreover, proof set sales were down in 1958 and mint set sales just managed to top the 50,000 mark.

item2.jpgSimply put, if a collector or dealer did not save the 1958, it was unlikely that hidden supplies would emerge at a later date in the form of proofs or nice coins taken from mint sets that had been broken up. In fact, collectors of the day were not excited enough about the Roosevelt dime to do much saving. There were Mercury dimes to be found, and most would have opted for a Mercury dime collection.

The 1958 Roosevelt dime is made of silver. This means it would have been pulled from circulation about 1965, the year when all silver was removed from the dime. When the price of silver reached its peak of $50 per ounce, any 90 percent silver dime was close to $3. Many 1958 dimes were melted. Consequently, whatever supply there was of nice 1958 dimes decreased substantially.

That brings us to today. We do not really know how many MS-65 or better examples of the 1958 Roosevelt dime exist. At $8.50 in MS-65, they do not get sent in for grading. All we know is the supply is not likely to be as strong as expected. Couple that with an already low mintage and suddenly you have a dime that seems like it has the potential to be worth much more.

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