Buy Mercury Dimes

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silver-mercurydime-bk-300x278 copy
Coin Details
• Manufacturer: U.S. Mint
• Minting Location: N/A
• Denomination: $.10 (US)
• Silver Content: 90% silver and 10% copper
• Diameter: 17.9 mm
Coin Design
  • Obverse: Features the head of Liberty, facing left and wearing winged cap. The word LIBERTY is above, and IN GOD WE TRUST and the date towards the bottom; which is commonly mistaken for an image of Roman god Mercury.
  • Reverse: Features the Roman fasces, comprised of an axe tied to a bundle of rods; the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is around and the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM to the right of the fasces which conveys peace through strength
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Mercury Dimes: The Basics

Mercury Dimes are $0.10 coins that were originally made by the U.S. Mint between the years of 1916 and 1945. As opposed to standard or typical dimes, there are several unique varieties of the Mercury Dime. However, they all share some core design similarities.

Mercury Dime Design

The Mercury Dime, also called the Winged Liberty Head Dime, was designed by Adolph A. Weinman, an architectural sculptor and a medalist who studied under Augustus Saint-Gaudens. He won the right to design the new Mercury Dime after a public competition intended to select different designs for all three upcoming dime denominations. With help from U.S. Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan, Weinman finished the design of the future Mercury Dime in no time.

The Mercury Dime has its name because of the Phrygian cap that Lady Liberty wears. When the Mercury Dime was first released, lots of Americans thought that the hat looked similar to the wings of the Roman god Mercury. This wasn’t the original intent of the coin designer, but the name stuck. Coin dealers and bullion fans now recognize the Mercury Dime from this name alone.

Historical Facts About the Mercury Dime

There are a lot of fun historical anecdotes and factoids that make the Mercury Dime a valuable coin for collectors, aside from its silver content. For starters, there’s the above-mentioned way in which the dime got its popular name.

However, the model for the design has always been somewhat in dispute. Adolph Weinman, who designed the Mercury Dime, never mentioned the woman he used as the model for Lady Liberty’s face. There was some speculation throughout history that it was the wife of Wallace Stevens, Elsie Stevens, but this was never confirmed.

Weinman himself claimed that he modeled the Mercury Dime after the friend of a lawyer, although this was never proven one way or the other.

In addition, the standard U.S. dime was not able to fit in many vending machines when it was initially minted. When the Mercury Dime was circulated, it was not modified alongside several other dime varieties, meaning that users could not use the Mercury Dime for vending machine purchases.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Mercury Dime also carries a bit of social and political intrigue. The Mercury Dime replaced the former Charles Barber design dime thanks to a misinterpretation of U.S. Mint coinage laws.

The then-Mint Director, Albert Woolley, met with the Commission of Fine Arts to view designs and sketches for a new dime. At the time of the minting of the Mercury Dime, Woolley thought that a coin design had to be replaced after 25 years of being in circulation. But this was not a mandate by the law. Instead, it was just a tradition or trend.

In any case, the Mercury Dime remains a historical novelty and a potentially wise way in which to save your hard-earned cash.

Average Value of Mercury Dimes

Mercury Dimes have cost a wide range of values at coin auctions and elsewhere over their lifespan.

Here are a few examples of valuable Mercury Dimes that were sold in the past:

• 1925 S Mercury Dime – $200-$1500

• 1925 D Mercury Dime – $415-$1800

• 1921 P Mercury Dime – $1200-$3700

• 1942 D Mercury Dime 42 over 41 – $2800-$10,200

• 1916 D Mercury Dime – $1500-$30,000

These Mercury Dimes are valuable because of their rarity, because coin collectors desire them, and because of their silver content.

In reading this chart, it’s handy to know about mint marks. Mint marks denote where a particular coin was minted. For example, “S” means that a coin was minted in San Francisco. Meanwhile, a “D” means that a coin was minted at the DenverUnited States Mint facility. “P” means the coin was minted at the Philadelphia Mint.

The key date next to the mint mark tells you when the U.S. coin was minted. Generally, though not always, Mercury Dimes are more valuable the older they are. Furthermore, some Mercury Dimes are highly valuable because of mint mark errors or other oddities that make them more unique compared to other dimes.

Bottom line: there are plenty of Mercury Dimes that historically cost very high prices at past auctions. Purchasing the right Mercury Dime could let you sequester or save thousands of dollars without having to put that money in a normal savings instrument, like a stock plan. Coin-collecting aficionados pay attention to dime values, as they’re good markers for the value of all kinds of silver coins.

What Mercury Dime Dates and Types Should You Watch Out For?

As you collect Mercury Dimes or consider which ones to purchase to save money, keep an eye out for a few particular varieties:

• The 1916 D Mercury Dime, which was struck at the Denver Mint. This is the most important date in the series, as only 264,000 pieces were minted (a relatively low number, making this a fairly rare dime)

• The 1942/41 Mercury Dime, an “overdate” dime. This dime was minted with a double die error, meaning that the obverse die for these coins took an impression from a 1942-dated hub and a 1941-dated hub, resulting in a confusing, mismatched design overall

• Any Mercury Dimes that were not fully struck. You can tell whether you have one of these dimes if the design detail is not very good or smudgy

However, you’ll also want to watch out for counterfeit dimes. Specifically, there were no 1923 or 1930 dimes struck at the Denver Mint facility. If you see a Mercury Dime labeled as “1923-D” or “1930-D”, they’re counterfeit.

Those coins aren’t made of 90% pure silver, though they may still have some silver content. Still, you’re better off not spending your money on these dimes and instead saving your cash for legitimate Mercury Dimes with much more silver value.

Are Mercury Dimes Good Savings Vehicles?

Yes, absolutely. Aside from the above-mentioned value of Mercury Dimes, there’s also the metal composition to consider. Because of when it was originally minted, a Mercury Dime has 0.07234 ounces of actual silver, or about 0.072 Troy ounces of silver. Each Mercury Dime was also struck on a 90% pure planchet.

Put simply, this means that each Mercury Dime is made of 90% silver, with the remaining 10% being nickel. This is not the case for any dimes that were minted after 1965.

Because of the Coinage Act of 1965, all the silver content in dimes was removed going forward. Modern dimes don’t have any silver in them at all, instead being composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel alloy.

While Mercury Dimes do have some nickel in them, they do have a huge amount of pure silver. If they were ever melted down, that silver could be traded or sold for cash. That’s similar to other coins made with precious metals, like half dollars and other gold coins.

Because of this, the value of silver Mercury Dimes accurately tracks the value of silver, for the most part. As the price of silver goes up, so too does the price and value of Mercury Dimes. If you purchase Mercury Dimes as savings vehicles, you can rest assured that most of your money goes into a pure silver asset that won’t decline in value the same way as other savings instruments.

American Hartford Gold Mercury Dimes

As you can see, Mercury Dimes are potentially good vehicles for you to safeguard your cash. When you purchase Mercury Dimes, you don’t just purchase coins that are valued by collectors because of historical facts or other unique attributes. Buying a Mercury Dime also means buying a good amount of pure silver.

Fortunately, buying Mercury Dimes doesn’t have to be difficult. At American Hartford Gold, you can purchase Mercury Dimes and a variety of other gold and silver assets to safeguard your wealth for a long time to come. Discover our offerings today.

Call for pricing: 1-800-462-0071

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