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Dimes

First authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792, the Dime, also known at the time as a Disme, was intended to represent exactly one-tenth of a dollar. In an effort to differentiate out coinage from that of the British Empire, a decimal system of coinage was proposed by among others Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, our first Secretary of the Treasury. From 1796 until 1837, dimes were struck from .8924 silver, with the balance of the coin in copper. Once the Seated Liberty Dime was introduced, the alloy mixture was changed to a mixture of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. To offset the use of a richer alloy, the size of the dime was reduced from 18.8 millimeters to 17.9 millimeters, the diameter of current dimes. In 1965 Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1965, removing all silver content from our circulating dimes and exchanging them for a coin that is fabricated from outer layers of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel, bonded to a pure copper core.

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