There have been a number of reverse designs during the history of the denomination.
The first design, known as the Small Eagle was only issued in 1796 and 1797. The main device on the reverse is an eagle, standing on a rock, with open wings, looking to right. Around the eagle, a laurel wreath tied with a ribbon below. Around, the name of the country: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The rim is denticled (toothed). Value and denomination are not displayed on the coin.
The second design is known as the Heraldic Eagle and was issued from 1798 to 1808. At centre, it shows the main part of the obverse (or front) of the Great Seal of the United States, which displays the full achievement of the national coat of arms. The design has the Union Shield at centre. The supporter of the shield is a bald eagle with its wings outstretched; it holds a bundle of seven arrows in its right talon, and an olive branch in its left talon. In its beak, the eagle clutches a scroll with the motto E pluribus unum ("Out of Many, One"). Over its head there appears a "glory" with of clouds and 13 mullets (stars).
The recurring number 13 refers to the 13 original states. The arrows and olive branch together symbolise that the United States has "a strong desire for peace, but will always be ready for war". The eagle has its head turned towards the arrows - unlike later versions where it looks towards the olive branch, to symbolise a preference for peace. Around, the name of the country: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The rim is denticled (toothed). Value and denomination are not displayed on the coin.
From 1809 to 1837, the reverse showed a different eagle, perched, with open wings, looking to left. On its breast, the Union Shield at centre, with thirteen vertical stripes, white and red, with a blue horizontal bar on top. Around above, a scroll inscribed with the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM ("Out of Many, One").
Around the outer rim, the name of the country: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Below the eagle, the abbreviated value and denomination 10 C. (Ten Cents).
The fourth design (1837 - 1916) showed a wreath surrounding the value and denomination, this time given as ONE DIME. There was one version of the wreath from 1837 to 1860, then it was redesigned. The Barber Dime also had a wreath on the reverse.
The fifth reverse was used on the Mercury Dime (1916 - 1945). Within a plain rim, it depicts at its centre a bundle of "fasces" (sticks) wrapped around an axe and bound both horizontally and diagonally by a leather strap, with the loose ends at the bottom. The lettering is in Roman style; around above, UNITED · STATES · OF · AMERICA; separated from this by two five-pointed stars, and divided by the bottom part of the fasces, the value and denomination ONE DIME. In the right field, on two lines the motto E · PLURIBUS UNUM.
The sixth and current design of the dime features a torch in the centre, representing liberty, flanked by an olive sprig representing peace, and one of oak symbolising strength and independence; the design as a whole is symbolic of the victorious end of World War II. Around above, in large letters the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; separated from this by two dots, around below are the value and denomination: · ONE DIME ·. Interrupted by the torch and two branches, horizontally in the lower half of the design is the motto E · PLURIBUS · UNUM.