ere is another of my favorite coin designs and I am happy to have a few Uncirculated specimens. It has a sort of Art Deco
feel to it, which I very much like. The design features a portrait of Lady Liberty (a.k.a. Columbia
) wearing Mercury's winged Phrygian Cap
which signifies Freedom and the Pursuit of Liberty. The reverse features a Fasces
, a bundle of wooden rods with an axe all tied together as a symbol of Strength Through Unity, and surrounding this is an Olive Branch of Peace. Both the Phrygian Cap
and the Fasces
are also used on the official Seal of The United States Senate
his design was created by Adolph Weinman, whose initials (a W over an A) appear to the right of Columbia's neck, and was used on United States Dimes from 1916-1945. They were commonly known as 'Mercury Head Dimes'. Weinman used the bust he had sculpted of a friend's wife, Elsie Stevens
, as the model for Columbia. His design lasted through Prohibition, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and two World Wars. However in the Low Mintage Year of 1922, NO
Nickels, Dimes, Quarters, or Half-Dollars were minted by any United States Mint. Also, during the Great Depression, with commerce at a virtual standstill and in order to conserve Silver stockpiles, NO 1932 or 1933*
Mercury Dimes were minted. In all though, almost 2.7 Billion
Mercury Dimes were produced. That translates to 195 Million Troy Ounces of Silver!
he most sought after Mercury Dime by far is the 1916-D of which only 264,000** were coined. Even extremely worn 1916-D specimens are worth over $1,000. A nice specimen goes for an amazing 10-50 thousand dollars! Note that the DATE is almost too large for the coin and in fact angles upward about 6 degrees to fit inside the field area. On late date Mercury Dimes the Date size was adjusted down and made level to "IN GOD WE TRUST".
he mint mark for the Mercury Dime is located on the reverse to the right of the 'ONE'. Here is my 1916-S
Mercury Dime with the San Francisco Mint Mark, S
Also No Buffalo Nickels in 1932-1933, No Standing Liberty Quarters in 1931, No Washington Quarters in 1933, No Walking Liberty Half-Dollars from 1930-1932, and No Peace Dollars from 1929-1933.
** FYI, the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, which is considered rare, had a mintage of 484,000.