If you’ve ever held a dime in your hand and wondered just how thick it is, you’re not alone. The dimensions of US coins are often interesting pieces of trivia. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at answering the question – how thick is a dime in inches?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The thickness of a dime is 0.0598 inches.

Background on the US Dime

The US dime is a coin that has been in circulation since 1796. It is one of the most commonly used coins in the United States and is worth 10 cents. The dime is made of a combination of copper and nickel, giving it its distinctive appearance and durability.

The Current Design and Dimensions

The current design of the US dime features a portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the obverse side and a torch, an olive branch, and an oak branch on the reverse side. The dimensions of the dime are relatively small, with a diameter of 17.91 millimeters and a thickness of 1.35 millimeters.

In terms of inches, the dime is approximately 0.705 inches in diameter and 0.053 inches thick. To put it into perspective, a dime is about the same size as a penny, but slightly thinner.

How the Dimensions Have Changed Over Time

Throughout its history, the dimensions of the US dime have undergone a few changes. From 1796 to 1837, the dime had a diameter of 19 millimeters and a thickness of 1.35 millimeters. In 1837, the dimensions were reduced to the current size of 17.91 millimeters in diameter and 1.35 millimeters in thickness.

This change was made to save costs and increase production efficiency. Since then, the dimensions of the dime have remained unchanged.

The US Mint, which is responsible for producing coins, ensures that the dimensions of the dime are consistent to facilitate its use in vending machines and coin-operated devices. The small size of the dime makes it easy to carry and use in everyday transactions.

If you want to learn more about the dimensions of the US dime, you can visit the official website of the US Mint at https://www.usmint.gov/.

Measuring the Thickness of a Dime

When it comes to determining the thickness of a dime, there are a few methods you can use to get an accurate measurement. Whether you need the exact measurement or just an approximation, there are tools readily available to help you with the task.

Use a Caliper for an Exact Measurement

If you require a precise measurement of a dime’s thickness, using a caliper is the way to go. A caliper is a measuring tool that can provide measurements down to the thousandth of an inch. By gently closing the jaws of the caliper around the edge of the dime, you can get an accurate reading of its thickness.

This method is ideal for those who need precise measurements for research purposes, numismatic studies, or any other application where accuracy is paramount.

Keep in mind that the thickness of a dime can vary slightly due to wear and tear, so it’s a good idea to take multiple measurements and calculate the average for the most accurate result.

Try a Ruler for an Approximation

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get a rough estimate of a dime’s thickness, using a ruler can suffice. While not as precise as a caliper, a ruler can still give you a general idea of the dime’s thickness in inches.

Simply place the dime on a flat surface, align the edge of the ruler with the edge of the dime, and read the measurement where the top of the dime meets the ruler. Keep in mind that this method may not be suitable for applications that require exact measurements, but it can be useful for everyday purposes.

It’s important to note that the thickness of a dime is not a fixed measurement and can vary slightly from year to year. However, as of the most recent data available, the average thickness of a dime is approximately 1.35 millimeters or 0.053 inches.

For more information on measurements and dimensions of U.S. coins, you can visit the United States Mint website, where you can find detailed specifications for various coins, including dimes.

How Dime Thickness Compares to Other Coins

When it comes to coin dimensions, the thickness of a dime is an interesting topic to explore. Let’s take a closer look at how the thickness of a dime compares to other commonly used coins.

Thicker than a Penny

Compared to a penny, a dime is actually thicker. While a penny has a thickness of approximately 1.52 millimeters, a dime measures in at around 1.35 millimeters. That’s a difference of 0.17 millimeters, which may not seem like much, but it is noticeable when you hold the coins side by side.

The reason for this difference in thickness is due to the materials used to make the coins. Pennies are primarily composed of copper, which is a relatively dense metal. On the other hand, dimes are made from an alloy of copper and nickel, which gives them a slightly thinner profile.

Thinner than a Nickel

While dimes are thicker than pennies, they are actually thinner than nickels. A nickel has a thickness of approximately 1.95 millimeters, making it noticeably thicker than a dime. This makes sense considering that nickels are larger in diameter and have a greater overall mass than dimes.

It’s interesting to note that the composition of nickels is different from dimes. Nickels are made from 75% copper and 25% nickel, which accounts for their greater thickness. Dimes, on the other hand, have a composition of 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel.

Similar to a Quarter

When comparing the thickness of a dime to a quarter, you’ll find that they are actually quite similar. Both coins have a thickness of approximately 1.75 millimeters, making them nearly identical in this aspect. However, quarters are larger in diameter and have a greater weight compared to dimes.

It’s worth mentioning that the thickness of coins can vary slightly due to wear and tear. Over time, coins may become slightly thinner due to the friction they experience during circulation.

Why the Thickness Matters

The thickness of a dime is a crucial factor that plays a significant role in various aspects. Understanding why the thickness matters can give us insights into the importance of this dimension in everyday life.

Durability and Wear

One of the main reasons why the thickness of a dime matters is its impact on durability and wear. A thicker dime is less prone to damage and can withstand the rigors of daily use more effectively. This is particularly important considering that dimes are one of the most commonly used coins in circulation.

The thickness helps to ensure that the dime maintains its structural integrity, avoiding premature wear and tear.

According to US Mint, the thickness of a dime is approximately 1.35 millimeters. This dimension is carefully designed to strike a balance between durability and practicality.

Difficulty Counterfeiting

The thickness of a dime also plays a crucial role in preventing counterfeiting. Counterfeiters often try to replicate the appearance of genuine coins with the intention of deceiving others. However, replicating the exact thickness of a dime can be a challenging task.

The intricate details and precise measurements make it difficult for counterfeiters to create fake dimes that are indistinguishable from the real ones.

By ensuring that the thickness of a dime is not easily replicable, authorities can deter counterfeiters and protect the integrity of the currency system.

Ease of Use in Vending Machines

The thickness of a dime is also important for its ease of use in vending machines. Vending machines are designed to accept specific denominations of coins, and the thickness of a dime ensures that it can be easily detected and accepted by these machines.

A consistent thickness allows vending machines to accurately identify and process dimes, making transactions smoother and more efficient.

The thickness of a dime is carefully regulated to ensure compatibility with vending machines, reducing the chances of errors or malfunctions during transactions.

Fun Facts About Dime Dimensions

The Thinnest Dimes in History

Did you know that the thinnest dime ever recorded measured a mere 1.35 millimeters in thickness? This ultra-thin dime was minted in 2016 and is part of a series called the “America the Beautiful” quarters program.

These quarters are slightly larger in diameter than regular dimes, but their thickness is significantly thinner. The thinness of this particular dime makes it a collector’s item, with its unique dimensions adding to its rarity and value.

How Dimes Get Thinner with Wear

Over time, dimes naturally become thinner due to wear and tear. The constant circulation and handling of coins cause the metal to gradually erode, resulting in a decrease in thickness. In fact, studies have shown that the average dime loses approximately 0.05 millimeters of thickness every ten years.

While this might not seem like much, it adds up over time. So, the next time you hold a dime in your hand, remember that it has likely gone through years of usage and has become slightly thinner as a result.

Dimes Used on Rails to Set Gauges

Believe it or not, dimes have played a crucial role in maintaining the accuracy of railway systems. In the early days of rail travel, dimes were used to set the gauge, or the distance between the two rails.

The thickness of a dime made it a convenient and precise tool for ensuring that the tracks were properly aligned. While modern railway systems now utilize more sophisticated methods for gauge adjustment, the historical significance of dimes in this regard is a fascinating testament to their dimensions and utility.


A dime may seem like a small, insignificant coin, but its dimensions like thickness are carefully considered. At 0.0598 inches thick, the dime is thin yet still sturdy. Understanding the exact thickness and other dime dimensions also reveals fascinating facts about coin production, use, and history.

So the next time you have a dime in your pocket or get one in change, take a closer look. Appreciate the precise engineering and design that went into creating this tiny coin you use every day.

Similar Posts