Because Roosevelt had been afflicted with polio, he began the "March of Dimes" in
his first term to combat polio. It seemed fitting to place his portrait on the
obverse of the dime. The reverse featured an upright torch (symbolizing freedom)
flanked by branches of olive and oak (denoting peace and victory).
John Sinnock’s initials JS provided controversy from the beginning. At that time,
Americans were searching for Communists behind every bush. A rumor began to spread
that JS stood for the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
A unusual event in the Roosevelt Dime series took place at the West Point Mint in
1996. The 1996 W was included in the Mint's Uncirculated Set, commemorating the 50th
anniversary of the Roosevelt dime. It was the only dime to bare a 'W' mintmark.
The key to the Roosevelt dimes is the 1949-S. This is in spite of the 13 million coins struck.
Because of The Coinage Act of July 23, 1965 the composition of the dimes and quarter
dollars were changed to two layers of copper-nickel with a pure copper center.
In 1965 through 1967 Mint marks were omitted from all coins regardless of where
they were minted. The omission was in response to the Mint's belief that collectors
were responsible for the coin shortages of 1963-65.
When grading the Roosevelt dime, the highpoints are FDR’s hair and cheek and the
flame and horizontal bands of the torch.