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Mercury Dimes (1916-1945)

Mercury Dimes (1916-1945)

Mercury dimes are the popular ten-cent pieces produced by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1945. This dime is made of 90% Silver and contains just over .072 troy ounces of silver. It is more properly referred to as the Winged Liberty Head Dime. Many of the public mistook Adolph Weinman’s design featuring a young Liberty for a depiction of the Roman god Mercury, and a nickname was born.

Although the coin’s design was embraced by citizens and officials alike, some modifications were necessary, as the Mercury dime did not perform properly in some vending machines. This iconic dime was produced until 1945 when the Treasury ordered new artwork honoring the recently deceased President Franklin Roosevelt.

Mercury Dime Value

The value varies significantly depending on its year of mintage, mintmark and condition. These coins can be had for as little as $1.50, but may also be valued upwards of $1500 for a single coin. If you have a dime that appears to be in good condition and it bears a desirable date, you may wish to consider having it professionally graded by a reputable company such as PCGS or NGC.

If you have your dime graded, you will get a better idea as to what the coin could be worth to dealers and collectors. The grading process is exacting and accounts for the tiniest imperfections. When you have a coin graded, you can also rest easy in the knowledge that its metal content and authenticity have been verified.

 
Mercury Dime (1916-1945)

Mercury Dime Value is Conditional

You can make a close examination of this coin yourself, too. This will give you a ballpark idea as to how your coin could be graded and may help you decide if you need to consult a professional. There are several points of reference for this for this process, though we will discuss the coin’s olive branch. If the olive branch has significant wear and tear or is discolored, the coin is likely in merely good condition.

If the wear on the olive branch is minimal and there is little or no discoloration, the coin could possibly be assigned a grade of fine. If the olive branch remains crisp and clean with no signs of erosion or discoloration, your coin is potentially in extremely fine condition. All the details must be similar in quality for an overall grade, of course. The Liberty Head or the text on the coin can all be used for this test.

 

The Valuable Mint Marks

You will also want to look at your Mercury Dime to see which mintmark it bears. Dimes minted in Philadelphia do not have a mint mark, while coins minted in San Francisco will have an “S” mint mark and coins minted in Denver will have a “D” mint mark. Some of the most sought after of all the Mercury Dimes were minted in Denver and will sport a “D” on the reverse along the bottom rim of the coin.


Mercury Dimes Can Be Greatly Valued

There are five mint dates that are the most coveted by dealers and collectors alike. The 1916-D, for example, could have a value of over $650, even if it is in just good condition. The 1921 and 1921 D also can be highly valued with prices in the area of $48 to $61 for coins in good condition and $96 to $178 for coins in fine condition. The 1926 S likely commands a minimum value of $10 for coins in good condition. Given their age, Silver content and beautiful design, these coins have the potential for further price appreciation in the future.

Mercury Dime Key Dates

For being one of the most collectible coin series in the world, Mercury Dimes have very few key dates. The oldest variety is the 1916-D edition designed by Adolph Weinman. The 1921 version, produced at the Philadelphia branch of the U.S. Mint, is also considered key and does not include a mintmark. Mercury Dimes produced by the Denver Mint that same year are popular among numismatists, as well. One of the most critical years for the Mercury Dime series in 1942, with two major versions made. The 1942/1 was made in Philadelphia, again without a mintmark, and the 1942/1-D was struck in Denver, with the standard “D” included on the reverse. More key dates for Mercury Dimes are:

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