What makes a 1964 dime rare? In 1964, the United States Mint made a transition in the materials used to mint dimes, switching from 90% silver to a copper and nickel composition. This change has made some 1964-dated dimes more valuable to collectors and investors.
If you happen to have a 1964 dime, here’s a quick overview of what to look for to know if yours may be rare and valuable: Key dates like 1964-D or proofs, doubling on the band on the reverse, or a silver composition rather than copper-nickel make 1964 dimes rare.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore all the details on valuable 1964 dimes – from important dates and mint marks, condition, and grade factors, doubling varieties, silver content versus clad versions, and understanding how to spot counterfeits.
Key Dates and Scarce Mint Marks
1964 Philadelphia Coins
The 1964 Philadelphia dimes are plentiful in mintage at over 1.5 billion coins produced that year. However, the 1964 dime’s base silver composition gives it inherent value over modern clad coinage. According to the numismatic site Littleton Coin Company, “Before 1965, U.S. dimes were made of 90% silver.
Those 1964 and earlier dimes are now worth many times their face value.”
While common in grade, the 1964 Philadelphia dime does have one key date for variety collectors – the 1964-P Peace dollar. This was an unauthorized private minting of the 1964 dime with an image of Peace from the Peace dollar on its reverse.
Only around 100 specimens exist, making it extremely rare and valuable to enthusiasts.
1964-D Denver Mint
The Denver Mint in 1964 struck over 2.9 billion dimes, the highest mintage for any 1964 dimes. Yet, while plentiful, the 1964-D still trades for over 15 times its face value due to its silver content. As silver bullion site APMEX notes, “These 90% silver coins are simply valued based on their silver melt value, which fluctuates daily.”
For collectors seeking scarcer 1964-D specimens, the best route is through proof coins. The mintage for 1964-D proof dimes was a more limited 3,950,000 pieces. These mirror-like coins were sold directly to collectors in special proof sets.
Their pristine, uncirculated condition makes proofs more valued over typical worn, circulated examples from banks and pocket change.
As mentioned above under the 1964-D, proof coinage in 1964 was intended solely for coin collectors, not general circulation. The U.S. Mint produced several different 1964 proof sets, including:
- 1964 4-coin proof set – dime, quarter, half dollar, penny
- 1964 5-coin proof set – above coins + nickel
- 1964 6-coin proof set – all previous coins + the 1964 Kennedy half dollar
The mintages on these sets ranged from 2-3.5 million each. However, many have been broken up over the decades, as collectors pulled out the coins individually to fill holes in their albums. This makes finding original, intact sets difficult today.
A full 1964 proof set, if well-preserved and authenticated, can fetch around $60-100 on the open coin market.
|1964 Proof Mintage
|1964 Kennedy Half
As seen above, mintages ranged from about 4 million down to 3.95 million across the denominations. By checking dates, and mint marks, and evaluating condition, collectors can spot valuable proof specimens worth far exceeding their face value.
Doubled Die Obverses and Other Varieties
Doubled die obverse varieties
The most famous and valuable variety of the 1964 dime is the doubled die obverse. This variety shows a strong doubling of the words “Liberty” and “In God We Trust” due to the hub being pressed into the die multiple times with a slight offset.
According to PCGS CoinFacts, only around 300,000 doubled die 1964 dimes were minted before the die was retired, making it quite scarce. An estimated 50,000 or fewer have survived in high grades. PCGS has certified 47 examples earning the grade of MS67.
The 1964 doubled die dime is highly coveted by many collectors and investors. In January 2022, an MS66 example sold at auction for $33,600. Even lower-graded pieces in G or VG condition can sell for $500 to $2,000+.
Other RPM varieties
While the doubled die is by far the most famous, there are also some other repunched mintmark (RPM) varieties of 1964 dimes that can have added value:
- DDR-001 shows light punching of the D mintmark southwest.
- DDR-002 exhibits stronger punching of the Mintmark northwest.
- DDO-001 shows a very minor doubling of the digits in the date.
These RPM varieties are more subtle than the dramatic doubled die obverse. However, they can still garner significant premiums over normal 1964 Philadelphia dimes, especially in higher mint state grades.
|1964 DDR-001 Value Estimates
|1964 DDR-002 Value Estimates
As the data shows, an MS67 example of the strongest 1964 DDR-002 variety can sell for over 10x the value of a base MS67 1964 dime!
1964 marked the last year that silver dimes were minted in the United States, giving it added collectability. Checking your 1964 dimes carefully for subtle doubling or punching of design elements can pay off!
Silver Composition Versus Clad Versions
90% silver coins
The 1964 dimes produced before mid-year are composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. These silver dimes contain 0.0723 ounces of the precious metal. With silver currently trading for around $20 per ounce (as of December 2023), the intrinsic metal value of these coins is around $1.45.
The last 90% of silver dimes are highly sought-after by coin collectors and investors due to their precious metal content. According to the PCGS CoinFacts, mint state versions of the 1964 silver dimes can sell for $3 to $10 over the intrinsic silver value.
Circulated examples tend to trade right around the bullion value.
Copper-nickel clad coins
After the Coinage Act of 1965 went into effect, the composition of the dime was changed to a copper-nickel-clad material. These are often referred to as “clad” coins. Instead of solid 90% silver, the new dimes have a pure copper core with a 75% copper/25% nickel outer layer.
The clad versions of the 1964 dime do not contain any precious metal and therefore carry little to no intrinsic value. The copper and nickel mixture has a melt value of only a few cents per coin.
However, some clad 1964 dimes do have numismatic value above face value. According to the NGC, mint state examples in pristine condition can sell for upwards of $5. Circulated clad coins still tend to trade right around the 10-cent face value.
|90% Silver Version
|Precious Metal Content
|90% silver (0.0723 oz)
|No precious metals
|A few cents
|$3 to $10+ over melt value
|Up to $5 in mint state
As the table illustrates clearly, the silver 1964 dimes contain valuable bullion and typically carry a higher premium among collectors than the copper-nickel-clad versions of the same year. However, mint state examples of both varieties can be worth a decent sum to the right buyer.
Condition and Grading Factors
Circulated 1964 dimes can vary widely in value depending on their condition or “grade.” Professional coin grading services like PCGS and NGC assess circulated coins on a numeric scale from 1 to 58, with higher numbers indicating better condition.
For example, a well-worn 1964 dime might grade Good-4 and be worth just slightly above face value. On the other hand, a 1964 dime in Extremely Fine condition (grades 40-45) could sell for $10 or more.
Some of the main factors that determine a circulated coin’s grade and value include:
- Wear on the high points of the coin’s design, like the hair details, facial features, and text
- Marks, scratches, or other surface problems
- Eye appeal – the overall attractiveness of the coin
So a 1964 Roosevelt dime with minimal wear and no distracting marks could potentially earn a higher circulated grade and increased value compared to ones in lesser condition.
Uncirculated 1964 dimes can be worth significantly more than circulated examples. These coins were never used in commerce and retained their original mint luster. Professional grading services assess uncirculated coins on a scale from MS-60 up to MS-70.
|Minimal marks and abrasions
|Slightly more and finer marks than MS-60
|Very are attractive with only minor marks
|Nearly pristine condition
|Perfection. No discernible flaws
While an MS-60 1964 dime may trade for around $3-5, an MS-65 can sell for $25 or more. Top-graded examples in MS-67 or MS-68 can be valued at over $100.
Proof coins are specially struck for collectors with polished, mirror-like surfaces. They exhibit finer detailing than regular uncirculated coins. All 1964-proof dimes have a cameo contrast between frosted design elements and mirrored fields.
High-end proof 64 dimes graded PR-67 or PR-68 by PCGS/NGC can trade for $75-100 or more.
Hairline scratches and other surface marks can significantly reduce the eye appeal and value of proof coins. As with all collectible coins, provenance and certification from respected grading services also impact collectability and market prices paid by knowledgeable dealers and collectors.
Carefully examining a 1964 dime’s visual details is one of the best ways to determine if it is counterfeit. Some key things to look for include:
- Clarity of details – On a real 1964 dime, features like the torch, olive branch, inscription, date, and Monticello building should be sharp and clear under magnification.
- Rim and edge – An authentic silver dime will have smooth, uninterrupted milling on the outer rim. The edge should also be smooth and uniform when inspected closely.
- Wear and markings – A real 1964 dime that has been in circulation will show slight wear. But beware of coins that show excessive wear inconsistently or have odd gashes, scratches, or markings.
According to coin expert websites like USA Coin Book and CoinWeek, lower-quality counterfeits will have noticeably blunt details, improperly spaced lettering, misshapen branches and grains on the wreath, and incorrectly shaped and sized date numerals, mint marks, etc.
Weight and Magnet Tests
Verifying the weight and assessing magnetic properties can also help identify fake 1964 dimes produced in base metals.
- Weight – A real 1964 dime weighs 2.5 grams. Counterfeits in nickel or copper will often have incorrect weights.
- Magnet test – Silver is non-magnetic. Passing a magnet over a 1964 dime can detect fakes made from magnetic metals.
|Silver (real 1964 dimes)
|Copper (common counterfeit metal)
|Nickel (possible counterfeit metal)
According to recent collector surveys on sites like CoinTalk, an estimated 15-20% of certain U.S. silver coins submitted to major authentication services are counterfeit. So it pays to carefully inspect any questionable 1964 dimes.
What Makes A 1964 Dime Rare – Conclusion
We’ve covered all the important factors that contribute to 1964 dimes being rare and valuable – from mintage figures on key dates like the 1964-D to understanding doubled dies, silver composition, grades, and counterfeit detection.
Finding one of these scarce 1964 dime varieties can mean profit for a collector. So next time you have a 1964 dated dime, be sure to check for what makes it potentially rare and valuable!