Designed by Chief Engraver Charles Barber, the dime had a composition of 90% silver and 10% copper and made its first appearance in 1892. Though officially the name of the coin is the Liberty Head Dime it has since been nicknamed the Barber Dime after Chief Engraver Charles Barber.
The obverse design depicts an idealized form of Lady Liberty facing right wearing a Phrygian cap, a laurel wreath with a ribbon, and a headband with the inscription LIBERTY. Surrounding the design is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
The reverse design features a wreath of American agricultural products (corn & wheat) tied with a bow around the words "ONE DIME". A mint mark for New Orleans (O), San Francisco (S) or Denver (D) is located at the bottom of the design below the bow. Coins minted at the Philadelphia mint carried no mint marks.
General Market Notes
With more than 500 million coins minted examples are available to collectors of all types.
For those on a small budget examples in a grade of Very Good to Very Fine should be no problem for common years.
For years that may be potential sleepers look at the 1904-S, 1909-D, and 1915-S issues. All three coins have mintages less than a million.
For the investor, the key to the series (excluding proofs & errors) is the 1895-O issue. The semi-keys are: 1894-O, 1895, 1896-O, 1896-S, 1897-O, 1901-S, & 1903-S issues.