The 1916 Mercury dime, which is over a century old, is among the most valuable coins you might find down the back of your chair. The dimes, originally known as the Winged Liberty, are made of 90% silver.
As a guesstimate, this coin in fair condition will be worth around $4.00, while one in certified mint state (MS+) condition could fetch as much as $25 at auction.
Here’s a quick overview of the 1916 Mercury dime’s types, values, and everything else you need to know about the coin.
What is the 1940 Dime?
The 1916 Mercury Dime with no mintmark contains 90% silver which weighs 0.0723 oz. The total number of coins produced that year was 22,180,000. The obscure side is a woman with the initials “In God we trust.” The reverse is the bundle of rods and battle axe and the” One United States of America Dime” initials going round on the base of the coin. Here is a picture of the 1916 dime.
Brief summary of the 1916 Dime
This version of the Mercury dime with no mint mark is notably abundant, with 22,180,000 produced in 1916. You can tell by looking at the back that these were made in Philadelphia. Unlike the others, it is reasonably priced, despite the fact that it is worth more than its mass in silver.
- Name of Coin: 1916 mercury dime
- Series of coins: 1916
- Portrait: Young liberty
- Main Reverse Feature: Fasces
- Denomination: 10 cents
- Pawnshop Value: $3 US dollars
- Metal Composition: 900 silver,100 copper
- Diameter: 17.91 mm
- Mass / Weight: 2.500 g
- Mint: 1916 D and 1916 S have mintmarks. 1916 does not have mintmarks.
- Designer: Adolph Weinman
- Mintage Number: 22,180,000 coins
The original Winged Liberty dime went into circulation at the end of October 1916 and lasted nearly 30 years. The Winged Liberty dime–also known as the Mercury dime due to its classically inspired headgear–was lauded for its beauty and saw the country through both World Wars and the Depression Of the 1930s. Its distinctive design was associated with both the March of Dimes anti-polio campaign and numerous Charles Atlas ads found in the back of comic books and magazines. When “Yip” Harburg wrote the song “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” He was referring to the Mercury dime.
The design did not have the eye-catching flaws of the Buffalo nickel or the Walking Liberty half-dollar. Although collectors may seek out perfectly struck examples with Full Split Bands on the reverse (rare for some issues), the Mercury dime is acknowledged as an elegant and functional coin; a successful coin that set out its purpose and lifted the image of American money. The period of service of the Mercury dime came to an abrupt end on April 12, 1945, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died.
Reason for minting
The Mint officials felt the designs needed to be revised, so they held a competition among three sculptors, in which Barber, who had been with the company for 36 years, competed.
Weiner won the competition and he chose the designs for the dime and half a dollar. Although the design of the new coin was praised for its beauty, the Mint modified it after discovering that vending machine manufacturers were having difficulty making it work in their machines.
There are three 1916 Mercury dimes to look out for. Each coin was minted in a different location in the United States and was given a mint mark to identify where it arrived from:
This year’s dimes were produced in three mints. Beginning with the rare Denver mint coin, it is distinguished by a “D” mintmark on the reverse. The San Francisco mint used an “S” mintmark, which was also found on the reverse, while the Philadelphia mint did not use a mintmark on coins.
|1916 S mercury dime||10,450,000|
|1916 D mercury dime||264,000|
Features of the 1916 dime coin
The United States Treasury Department held a competition to choose a winning design for the 1916 dime. Adolph A. Weinman, a German-born sculptor, was chosen to design the features of the dime. Here is a youtube video showing the features of the 1916 dime.
The design of the dime is straightforward. Weinman is thought to have modeled liberty on the obverse side of the coin with Elsie Stephen, the wife of lawyer and poet Wallace Stevens. Liberty is facing on the left. There is a model of Liberty with a winged cap and the year 1916′ to show when it was made.
On the reverse is a design of a bundle of rods and a battle-ax, symbolizing unity, with the words “Wherein Lies the Nation’s Strength.” Both the 1916 S and 1916 D have a mint mark on the reserve side to show the location of minting.
The Mercury (actually called the Winged Liberty) dimes were first minted in 1916. These lovely dimes are made of 90% silver and 10% copper. This coin weighs 2.5 grams and measures 17.91mm in diameter.
Value of the 1916 dime
The face value of the 1916 mercury dime is $0.10.The present silver melt value for a 1916 No mint dime is $1.68, based on the current silver spot price of $23.30, however, this value is dynamic. In poor condition, this coin is still worth $1.32 more than its intrinsic value from silver content of $1.68, making it more valuable to a collector than a silver buyer. Coins that are more valuable to collectors could be a better long-term investment.
Comparison Table Showing The 1916 Dime Value
|Condition/Coin Variety||1916||1916 D||1937 S|
Even if metal prices fall, you will still have a dime that a numismatist would be interested in purchasing. As a rough estimate, this coin in average condition will be worth around $4.00, while one in certified mint state (MS+) condition could be worth as much as $25.00.
Factors that influence the value of the 1916 Dime
Collectors and dealers are constantly on the lookout for high-quality, well-preserved coins. They assess each condition and allocate a “grade.” These are the main factors that determine the value of the 1916 coin you may own.
Uncirculated: There is no noticeable wear on the surfaces. The mint luster, the radiance, is unbroken. Although toning is common, these dimes appear brand new. Examine the cheek area for breaks in the luster by rotating your coin under a light. Uncirculated 1916 dime is always in high demand.
Extremely Fine: This condition is characterized by even but light wear. The design details are all very unique. Close inspection reveals the flatness of previously rounded details. A 1916 dime in extremely fine condition is second in demand and worth highly.
Fine: A 1916 Mercury Dime with this grade has been circulated for a reasonable amount of time. Despite the fact that these coins had been in circulation for many years, they escaped most major damage during that time. Though some of the imagery and writings will have faded, the coin appears to be in good condition for its age.
Good: If the coin you have is scaled good, it will be in fairly poor condition. Overall, the coin will have a lot of damage, such as scratching, chipping, and other blemishes. The coin will value less than other grades.
Why is the 1916 D Mercury dime so hard to come by?
The 1916-D Mercury dime had a much lower mintage than the 1916-S and 1916 dime cent. The causes of the low mintage of the 1916-D are unknown.
What is the 1940 D value?
The estimated value of the 1940 D coin is $1,000, in certified mint state (MS+) it could be worth $9,000.
What is the 1940 mercury dime worth?
The estimated value of the 1940 mercury coin is $4.00, in certified mint state (MS+) it could be worth $25.
What is the most sought-after mercury dime?
The most sought-after mercury dime is the 1916 D dime because of its rarity.
Winding Up: Is The 1916 Dime Value Worth It?
The US mint manufactured three 1916 mercury dimes; 1916 D, 1916S, and the 1916 dime ( all minted except the latter) which were all modeled by the famous craftsman Adolf Weiner. The face value of the 1916 dime is $0.10 while the standard value of the coin is $4.00 in average state and $25 in certified mint state.
A well-kept coin will value more than a poorly-kept coin. The type of coin also matters because the 1916 D is rare and in high demand making it very valuable. If you have any questions regarding the 1916 dime value, tell us today!