After 29 years, the Winged Liberty Head dime – otherwise known as the Mercury dime – was retired following 1945. It was that year, on April 12, that 32nd United States president Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. Roosevelt, who was stricken with polio in 1921, founded the March of Dimes to fight polio. So, upon his death, leaders of the U.S. government found it fitting to honor the fallen leader by depicting him on the obverse of the dime. On the reverse is a torch that signifies Liberty, an olive branch that symbolizes peace, and an oak branch that promises independence and strength.
The Roosevelt dime was designed in 1946 by John R. Sinnock, the same man who would soon design the Franklin half dollar. When the Roosevelt dime was introduced, it was met with overwhelming support from a public that was still mourning the loss of the president who helped lead them through the harrowing depths of the Great Depression and the horrendous World War II.
The first Roosevelt dimes were minted in huge quantities, which are listed below:
1946 – 255,250,000; $3
1946-D – 61,043,500; $3
1946-S – 27,900,000; $3
*Values are for coins in a grade of Extremely Fine 40.
None of the 1946 dimes is particularly scarce, and they can be readily found in grades ranging from Good through the upper Mint State grades at generally affordable prices. Most coin dealers should have a substantial supply on hand, which means there are plenty of opportunities to find 1946 dimes that suit your costs.