Coin and Paper Money Collecting/2002 US dime


QUESTION: I found a dime in 2003 that was in circulation that has no silver or whatever is supposed to be covering the copper on the back of it. Is this worth anything more than a dime?

ANSWER: Vicki:

Hard to say without a photo or the weight and thickness of your coin. Could be real, and could be altered. As an altered coin it has no added numismatic value. A real error is one where the clad layer was missing. This can happen before the coin was struck or after. The difference would be the reverse strike. If just slightly weak, but smooth, a likely split before struck blank. If rough, or rippled, likely a split after strike. In both cases, the error would be thinner and weigh less than a normal dime. How does yours compare?

A real split off clad layer dime would have an approximate value of $35 to $75 to an interested collector, depending on date and condition.

By understanding the minting process, you can somewhat easily determine which coins have real errors. or

Sometimes people try and fool you into thinking you have a real error coin. Here are examples of coins either being altered or damaged.
See link:
See link:

Here are two sites to check actual real error values:

If you live close to a local shop, they should offer an opinion as to the value at no charge. Always try and get at least two opinions and try and deal with PNG dealers if possible. If you should decide to sell your items to a dealer, remember they will offer about 50% to 60% of the retail value. Here's a link to find one in your area:

Please remember to go to the experts site to rate this answer. Check the nomination box on the rating page below any comments you may have.

Thank You and Good Luck in your collecting.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: It is slightly thinner than a regular dime in comparison.  I have never weighed it but have kept it in mint condition.  I live in a very small farm community and don't get to big city very much. Thank you for your time and quick answer to my vague question.

split b4 strike obv layer missing
split b4 strike obv la  

split b4 strike rev layer missing
split b4 strike rev la  

Again, a photo of your coin would help. Let's see if there are photos of a split before strike dime available in the web. The fact it is thinner is a good indicator it could be a real planchet error. Compare your coin tom these. Are they similar?

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Ronald Fern


I can answer most all questions relating to US coins, tokens, and currency. I'm not strong on world coins or ancients. Primary field of expertise is errors and varieties. Over 55 years experience in coin collecting. Part time dealer since 1976. Employed by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 34 years as an Industrial Engineer/Technical Specialist before retiring in 2002.


Worked weekends for "Lonesome" John in the late 1960's to mid 1970's processing error coins, packaging, and preparing orders. Worked with John Devine and Fred Weinberg on several California Error A Rama's in the early 1970's. Served as display judge at annual Error-A-Rama coin shows. Opened and operated mail order coin business DBA "CAL ERRORS" in 1976. Contributor to Alan Herbert's "Official Price Guide To Mint Errors" and Fivaz/Stanton "Cherrypickers' Guide". Worked Saturdays at Huntington Beach Coin Exchange 1980-1999. Had table and sold coins at a number of coin and gun shows in So CA, AZ and NV. Sell coins, tokens and currency on Facebook. Past "Errorscope" Editor. Presently CONECA Examiner.


Errorscope, Numismatic News, Civil War Token Journal, Error and Variety News

AA Degree LBCC pre Engineering, 1964 BS Degree CSULB Ind Technology, 1968

Awards and Honors
1st Place EAR Trophy for Civil War Token Errors, NLG Author of Year Award for best monthly coin column "Error News and Views" in small Numismatic paper, owned and published by Ray Anthony.

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