Dimes – Definition With Examples

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Did you know that we have been using money as a system of payment for about 5000 years now? Yes, that is how old the story of money is! Nowadays, we get to see coins and bills, but did you know that once upon a time, humans used to use rocks as money? 

Initially, people used a barter system to get the things they needed. 

For example, back in the olden days, if you had a banana but wanted an apple, you would have to find somebody who has an apple and exchange your banana with their apple! And then that person could also exchange the banana for something they need. 

Barter System

But this arrangement did not work out too well. There was a double coincidence of wants. Also, there was no fixed unit of account. Imagine giving three apples to someone and only getting one orange in return! That was not fair. That’s when humans came together and decided to have one standard method of barter: money!


The Current System of Money

Initially, when money came into existence, it was made up of rocks. Over time, we upgraded our knowledge and skills. The first metal money was introduced back in 1000 BCE. These coins were made from valuable metals, such as bronze and copper. 

Over time, these coins were made from the silver and gold we associate with money today. Nowadays, we use paper currency as well as coins. 

Different countries use different systems. For example, the official currency of India is Indian Rupee. Euro is the official currency of Europe.

The money in the USA is in the form of coins and bills. Also, the official currency of the USA is the US dollar ($). Some commonly used coins by the USA are given below.

US Currency Coins

US Currency: Coins

The US mint issues coins of several denominations. Among them, the most common coins are Penny $(1¢)$, Nickel $(5¢)$, Dime $(10¢)$, and a quarter $(25¢)$. They are each worth different amounts and have other physical characteristics. Among the four coins, the size of the dime is the smallest. Dimes and quarters have ridged edges, whereas pennies and nickels have smooth edges.

What Is Dime?

Dime is a 10-cent coin. This term came from the Latin word “decimus”. The word dime means one-tenth. The diameter of the coin is 0.705 inches, and the thickness is 0.053 inches. On one side of the coin, there is a profile of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whereas, on the other side, there is an olive branch, a torch, and an oak branch, from left to right, respectively. 

A Dime

Relationship between Penny and Dime

A dime is worth 10 cents. The penny, also called the one-cent coin, is worth 1 cent. Therefore, a dime coin is worth the same value as ten one-cent coins (pennies).

In other words, we can say that the value of a cent or a penny is one-tenth the value of a dime. 

A dime is worth 10 cents

Relationship between Dime and Nickel

Both the nickel and dime coins are silver in color, but they differ in size. A nickel is worth 5 cents, and a dime is worth 10 cents. So, one dime is worth the same as two nickels. Accordingly, we can say that the value of a nickel is half the value of a dime. 

Although the dime is worth more than the nickel, it is smaller than the nickel coin.

We can use the value of the individual coins to find the total of different combinations of coins.

One dime is equal to the value of two nickels

Relationship between Dime and Dollar

A dime is worth $10¢$, which can also be written as $\$$0.10. Therefore, 10 dimes are worth the same as 1 dollar. 

Ten dimes worth the same as one dollar.

Counting Dimes and Other Coins

We can use the value of the individual coins to find the total of different combinations of coins. Let’s practice counting money by solving an example:

Stephen found some coins in an old bag. He found 1 dime, 2 nickels and 6 pennies. How much did he find?

We know 1 dime is worth $10¢$. 

1 nickel is worth $5¢$. So, 2 nickels is worth $5¢ + 5¢$ or $10¢$.

Since 1 penny is worth 1¢, 6 pennies value 6¢.

So, Stephen found 10¢ + 10¢ + 6¢, which is equal to 26¢.


From the above article, it can be concluded that using money is better than the barter system, because in the barter system, we first need to find the person who has the thing we want and would be willing to barter it. Money makes it easier to purchase goods.

Solved Examples

  1. Sam has 10 nickels. He wants to get it exchanged for dimes. How many coins will he get for 10 nickels?


1 dime $= 2$ nickels 

10 nickels = 5 2 nickels $= 5$ $1$ dime

 So, in exchange, he got 5 dime coins.

  1. A bag has ‘n’ number of nickel coins worth the same as 3 dime coins. Find the value of ‘n’.


Since 1 dime is worth the same as 2 nickels, 3 dime coins $= 6$ nickels.

Therefore, n must be 6.

  1. Catheline has $1.5 in dimes in her wallet. If she spends 60¢, then how many dimes would she be left with?


1 dime is worth $10¢$.

Catheline had $\$$1.5 in dimes, or 15 dimes in her wallet.

Since $60¢ = 6$ dimes, she spends 6 dimes in all. 

Therefore, she is left with $15$ $-$ $6$ or 9 dimes.

Practice Problems

Dimes - Definition With Examples

Attend this quiz & Test your knowledge.


Which of the following combinations has the same value as five dimes?

3 nickels and 2 pennies
9 nickels and 5 pennies
4 nickels and 15 pennies
5 nickels and 10 pennies
Correct answer is: 9 nickels and 5 pennies
5 dime $= 50¢$. Since nickel is worth $5¢$ and a penny is $1¢$, the combination 9 nickels and 5 pennies $= 45¢ + 5¢ = 50¢$

Which of the following coins and a dime together are worth less than $15¢$?

A penny
A nickel
A quarter
A dollar
Correct answer is: A penny
A dime and a penny together are worth $11¢$, which is less than $15¢$.

Sara has $\$$2.5 in dimes and nickels in her bag. If she has 12 nickels, then how many dime coins are there in the bag?

Correct answer is: 19
12 nickel worth $60¢$ or $\$$0.6.
So, $\$$2.5 $-$ $\$$0.6 or $\$$1.9 is in dimes.
Since 1 dime $= 10¢ = $0.1$,
19 dimes = $\$$1.9

Frequently Asked Questions

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is featured on one side of the dime coin. After he died in April 1945, the treasury department decided to honor him by placing his portrait on the coin.

Each of the new coins was created as it would contain the correct amount of silver relative to the dollar coin. The dime had to be rather smaller than all because it only had one-tenth the amount of silver that the dollar coin had

According to the U.S. Mint, a torch is the symbol of liberty, an olive branch is a symbol of peace, and an oak branch is a symbol of strength and independence.