Dispite it's essential place in decimal coinage, the Dime was one of the last coins
issued by the newly operational Mint. When it was first issued in 1796, the Mint had
been making cents and half cents for three years; silver dollars, half dollars and
half dimes for two years; and also the gold eagle and gold half eagle for a year.
The reason for this delay was that the demand for small silver coins was low. The
need was already being filled by the Spanish One Real (worth one bit or 12 1/2 cents).
Customers who had silver bullion to be minted usually wanted Dollars and had little
interest in smaller silver coins. Even when production problems forced the Mint to
stop making dollars, half dollars and half dimes were minted.