user_98698's Blog

13 Jul 2020

Mercury Dime

Coins-United States | user_98698

The Mercury Dime was introduced in 1916 until it stopped being minted in 1945. This Dime replaced the previous Old Barber design for dimes that had been in use since 1892. This new design was created by A.A. Weinman. The obverse of this coin featured Liberty wearing a winged cap. Due to this similarity in appearance between the new dime design and the Roman God Mercury, the new dime became known as the “Mercury Dime”. Not only was the Roman God Mercury known as the God of Messages, but he was also the God of Financial Gain, pretty ironic for the name of a new design for the United States Dime. Also because of the resemblance to the Romano God the reverse depicts a Roman Fasces. The Roman Fasces contains an axe tied in a bunch of sticks and vines along with olive branches. The Roman Fasces is supposably to show the United States readiness to protect freedom while keeping peace.

Due to the overall symbolism used in the design of this coin (along with the 90% silver content) the Mercury dime is a very desirable coin amongst Numismatics. This was also the coin I first began collecting due to the overall cheap pricing and investment when purchasing this coin. The only downside to this coin when first collecting is that when trying to complete a collection of this coin you must put up a significant amount of money into purchasing a 1916-D and a 1942 overdate even for a lower grade coin.

The average pricing of this coin is around $1.50 depending on the spot price of silver. Many consider this coin to only be an investment for silver due to the 90% silver content, however when starting a collection this coin is great as an investment along as an easy way to learn proper coin handling techniques and storage techniques.

When looking at purchasing an ungraded Mercury dime you should look at the bundle of sticks around the axe, if the sticks are very distinguishable from each other it is a good idea to purchase the coin because it is most likely a higher grade.

This coin was admired greatly for its beauty. In a high minted coin it can be difficult to have details in the coin, but the United States mint did an amazing job of keeping the needed details in the coin. Even with its beauty, the introduction of vending machines forced the Mint to transition to the Roosevelt dime. Vending machine operators found it difficult to properly detect the dime in their new machines. The mint keep this coin in mintage until 1945 until a gold version of it was minted in 2016 to mark the centenary for the coin



Level 5

The days of the $1.50 Mercury dime I believe is in the past. Now, even toning racks up thousands.


Level 6

Fun blog! I have collected a full set of Mercury Dimes and they are definitely a favorite of mine. I love the design! It's been quite awhile since I've seen one for sale for $1.50 though. haha Thanks for your blog! ; )


Level 6

Good blog. You are a little off on the "sticks". They are called "fasces". What you are referring to is called Full Split Bands. You are looking for is full separation of the bands that hold the sticks together. The middle band is the one that typically receives the most wear. Great job. Thanks.


Level 3

This was very interesting. My son is starting off with collecting dimes. Our next coin club meeting will have 4 of these mercury dimes up for auction. Now I know to check out the bundle of sticks! Thank you!


Level 7

Another One of my favorite coins. In just wished I had collected more. Thanks great info!!

It's Mokie

Level 6

It's one of my favorite U.S. designs and I have a complete set plus a few rolls, just because I like the design so much. It can also be purchased in proof for a relatively low price. I think the proofs are all sleepers in anything over PF64.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

It's a beautiful design and one of my favorites. I have a full set. Some I got through circulation and some I bought. That 1916D is a beast on the budget. U bought a slabbed fair example for just over 490. It takes a lot of money to get a really nice example.


Level 5

Love mercury dimes, but dont have any other than a few rolls of them just for silver. Would like to have the 16D or some other key date, or high grade semi key. Beautiful coin.

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