Dime (United States coin)
United States coinage
United States coinage was first minted by the new republic in 1792. New coins have been produced every year since then and they make up a valuable aspect of the United States currency system. Today circulating coins exist in denominations: $0.01, $0.05, $0.10, $0.25, $0.50, and $1.00. Also minted...
In many national currencies, the cent is a monetary unit that equals 1⁄100 of the basic monetary unit. Etymologically, the word cent derives from the Latin word "centum" meaning hundred. Cent also refers to a coin which is worth one cent....
, one tenth of a United States dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....
, labeled formally as "one dime". The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. The dime is the smallest in diameter
In geometry, a diameter of a circle is any straight line segment that passes through the center of the circle and whose endpoints are on the circle. The diameters are the longest chords of the circle...
and is the thinnest of all U.S. coins currently minted for circulation.
The term dime comes from old French "disme", meaning "tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...
" or "tenth part", from the Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...
decima [pars]. The Coinage Act of 1792 established the dime (spelled "disme" in the legislation), cent, and mill
The mill or mille is a now-abstract unit of currency used sometimes in accounting. In the United States, it is a notional unit equivalent to of a United States dollar...
as subdivisions of the dollar equal to , and dollar respectively, though today the term "dime" is only used to refer to the coin, rather than a unit of value.
The first known proposal for a decimal-based coinage system in the United States was made in 1783 by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...
, Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...
, Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...
, and David Rittenhouse
David Rittenhouse was a renowned American astronomer, inventor, clockmaker, mathematician, surveyor, scientific instrument craftsman and public official...