Mercury Head Dimes

Posted by on October 29, 2011

Coin Weight (g) Composition Silver Melt Value Full Melt Value
Mercury (1916-1921, 1923-1931, 1934-1945) 2.5 90% silver, 10% copper
5638372626 dd9d43f77f z 300x300 Mercury Head Dimes

1938 Mercury Dime, PCGS PR-65 (photo by Northern Lights Numismatics*)

The Mercury Head Dimes were designed by sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinman in 1916 and minted in 1916 through 1945.  This silver dime has a diameter of 17.90 mm, weighing 2.5 grams, the edge has 118 reeds.  This silver coin is made of 90% silver and 10% copper.

(Article continued below auctions...)
ebay silver logo Mercury Head DimesAuctions Close to Melt Values

2813827138754040 1 Mercury Head Dimes
1941P US 90% Silver Mercury Dime.
$1.25 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 3h 51m
3012467108894040 1 Mercury Head Dimes
1935 US Mercury Dime - .90 Silver
$1.85
Time Remaining: 4h 2m
3012467108934040 1 Mercury Head Dimes
1936 US Mercury Dime - .90 Silver
$1.85
Time Remaining: 4h 2m
3609981760814040 1 Mercury Head Dimes
1941 Mercury Dime - 90% Silver - Business Circulated - Philadelphia Mint
$1.90
Time Remaining: 4h 6m
3609982166894040 1 Mercury Head Dimes
1945-D Mercury Dime - 90% Silver - Business Circulated - Denver Mint
$1.90 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 4h 43m
3012467734884040 1 Mercury Head Dimes
1943 90% Silver Mercury Dime
$0.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 5h 16m
2911933177954040 1 Mercury Head Dimes
1929-P Circulated Silver Mercury Dime
$1.76 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5h 41m
1114131008494040 1 Mercury Head Dimes
1942 10C Silver Mercury Dime (Free Shipping)
$1.25
Time Remaining: 7h 44m
2715516327564040 1 Mercury Head Dimes
1945 P Mercury Dime 90% Silver 10 % Copper Fill your book.
$1.99
Time Remaining: 7h 57m

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Adolph Alexander Weinman also designed the ‘Walking Liberty’ silver half dollar the same year.  His Neo-classical design is a beautiful example of the times.  It had become tradition to have Liberty portrayed on United States coins and Weinman continued in this fashion.  The Phrygian cap, adapted by the French Revolutionaries as a symbol of their pursuit of liberty, had been used before on coins minted in the United States.  Weinman had added wings to his Liberties cap and with only the short ringlet curls of hair apparent Liberty (the model’s hair was tucked away in the back) is frequently interpreted as being a depiction of ‘Mercury’ the ancient Roman herald of their gods. 

The Mercury Dime obverse depicts Liberty’s head wearing a winged cap facing left with the date on the bottom right where the shoulder might be.  The designers mark “w” opposite of “IN GOD WE TRUST” is on the lower left by the neck and “LIBERTY” encircles the top half of the coin.

 

5638372950 50db804fd6 z 300x294 Mercury Head Dimes

1938 Mercury Dime, PCGS PR-65 (photo by Northern Lights Numismatics*)

The reverse depicts the Roman fasces, a bundle of rods with an ax.  The ax faces left.   An olive branch starts on the left of the fasces and arches behind and ends right of the fasces.  The mink mark is to the left of the base of the olive branch.  “ONE” is a little further to the left of the bottom of the olive branch and “DIME” continues to the right of the base of the fasces both words encircling the bottom of the coin.  “*UNITED.STATES.OF.AMERICA*” encircles the top half of the dime.  “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is on the right of the fasces.

The fasces symbolizes governing authority; “by the rod or by the ax”.  At the time of the design the United States was still trying to broker a peaceful resolve for Europe’s Great War (World War I).  An important note is the three horizontal bandings of the fasces.  The center is of importance to collectors because the design has two close together and in weak strikes of the dye the band appears to be single.  The stronger strikes show the two bands clearly differentiated when coins are graded that show this ‘Full Split Bands’ a “FSB” (or FB) is added to their grade.  To get the FSB notation the separation of the bands must be complete for the length of the bands.  If the coin’s band is worn to an interruption of this separation it does not get the FSB rating.  “Mercury” dimes in less than Fine condition usually have too much wear to get the FB rating even if it is a strong strike coin.

1916 D Mercury Dime

The 1916 D year and mint are very scarce!  Of 264,000 we’re struck, the lowest minting of this series. Because these are dearly sought after, there are many counterfeits!  These go for $1,000 even as low as VG8 grade. It is worthwhile having them certified.

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6 comments on “Mercury Head Dimes

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