How Much is a 1920 Mercury Dime Worth? (Price Chart)

The wrongly named Mercury dime collection is one of the first sets for many collectors. These small coins have an aesthetically pleasing design and are relatively common, making them affordable and easy to obtain.

Plus, some key dates and varieties are desirable among collectors. Let’s see what 1920 dime value is and how to determine its grade in the best possible way.

 

1920 Mercury Dime History

1920 Mercury Dime History
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In 1916, Adolph A. Weinman‘s design won the competition for the Barber dime replacement. Interestingly, the same author introduced another coin, Walking Liberty half dollar, the same year. He also included his initials on both coins, which wasn’t a common practice.

1920 Mercury dime

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1920 59,030,000
San Francisco 1920 S 13,820,000
Denver 1920 D 19,171,000
Total / 92,021,000

It is no coincidence that this design won in 1916. It showed a Winged Liberty on the obverse, making it another name for this series. The Liberty had a cap with wings on her head, symbolizing the freedom of speech or thought, depending on the sources you browse.

However, many believed that a figure represented the Roman God Mercury, the messenger of the gods and protector of merchants, travelers, and tricksters. So, the name Mercury dime has got stuck till today.

1920 Mercury dime

Face value $0.10
Compound 90% silver with copper
Coin weight 0.08038 troy ounces (2.5 g)
Coin diameter 0.70472 inches (38.1 mm)
Coin thickness 0.05315 inches (1.35 mm)
Shape Round
Edge Plain

Allegedly, Weinman made the Liberty design based on Elsie Kachel Stevens, the American poet Wallace Stevens’ wife. The obverse he created also included the word LIBERTY above the image and the date, while his initials were near Liberty’s neck.

1920 Mercury dime value*

Quality 1920 1920 S 1920 D
Good $3.4 $3.7 $3.4
Very good $3.7 $4.4 $3.9
Fine $3.9 $6.1 $5.1
Very fine $6.1 $8.6 $8.6
Extra fine $8.6 $21 $24
AU $18 $52 $52
MS 60 $40 $163 $163
MS 65 $294 $1,656 $879

*by USA Coin book

War motifs were typically present on the coin reverse in the 1920s. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising that the central coin figure was the Roman fasces, symbolizing jurisdiction, authority, and power.

However, you can also see an olive branch around fasces, representing hope for the future and peace. Two five-pointed stars separate ONE DIME denomination from the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA engraving. There is also E PLURIBUS UNUM, a traditional US motto.

 

1920 Mercury Dime Types

Three mints produced 1920 Mercury (Winged Liberty) dimes, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver. Most struck dimes went into circulation, and you could quickly find damaged and worn coins, while those in the mint state were scarce. This date came without proof coins.

1920 Mercury dime value*

Year Good Fine Extra fine Mint state
1920 $3 $3.5 $8 $15
1920 S $3.2 $5 $18 $45
1920 D $3 $4.5 $20 $45

*by JM Bullion

Still, even the 1920 Mercury dime in the lowest grade is worth $1.81, its current melt value. Keep in mind that the current silver price is $25.08 per troy ounce, and these coins have 90% silver.

Since well-preserved coins have a much higher value than damaged ones, selling them in bulk doesn’t pay off. Always sort dimes out before taking them to a coin dealer.

1920 Mercury dime

1920 Mercury dime

The Philadelphia mint produced most of the 1920 Mercury dimes, 59,030,000 out of 92,021,000 totally struck. They don’t have the mint mark because this mint started using the letter P on its coins in 1980.

1920 Mercury dime value*

Quality 1920 1920 S 1920 D
Good $2 $2 $2
Fine $2 $2 $2
Very fine $3 $3 $12
Extra fine $15 $20 $25
AU $30 $113 $64
MS 63 FB $79 $1,063 $446

*by COIN HelpU

Their minimum value depends on the fluctuating silver spot price. However, you can sell an extra-fine 1920 Mercury dime for around $15, or more than its melt value.

1920 S Mercury dime

1920 S Mercury dime

The San Francisco mint struck only 13,820,000 dimes in 1920, and they all went into circulation. No wonder many coin dealers look for well-preserved 1920 S Mercury dimes, and they are willing to pay much more for them than for other types.

1920 Mercury dime value*

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1920 $1.9 $2.2 $4.6 $47
1920 S $2 $3.5 $18 $220
1920 D $1.9 $2.7 $20 $165

*by CoinStudy

The San Francisco mint marked coins with the S letter on the reverse. Look for it next to the E in the denomination.

1920 D Mercury dime

1920 D Mercury dime

There were 19,171,000 dimes with the D mint mark in 1920. The Denver mint struck them and put the whole mintage in circulation.

1920 Mercury dime value*

Date Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1920 $1.7 to $2.2 $3 to $3.5 $8.5 to $10 $26+
1920 S $3.2 to $3.7 $5.5 to $6.2 $13 to $15+ $85+
1920 D $3.2 to $3.7 $4.5 to $5.2 $16 to $18 $85+

*by Coinflation

Therefore, 1920 D Mercury dimes in the mint state are rare and can reach a price of several hundred dollars. On the other hand, even the poorly kept coins are worth at least their melt value, close to $2.

  

1920 Mercury Dime Rarities

1920 Mercury Dime Rarities
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As I have already mentioned, 1920 Mercury dimes in low grades are common. However, some come with particularly strong lines on the reverse, making the bands around the fasces more striking.

This rare variety is known as Full Bands dimes. The 1920 FB Mercury dimes are valuable, and you should set aside hundreds of dollars for a piece.

Interestingly, 1920 FB dimes with the S or D mint mark are more sought after than those from Philadelphia. One 1920 S FB Mercury dime was sold in 2019 for an impressive $72,000.

 

Mercury Dime Series

Mercury Dime Series

The mints produced Mercury dimes from 1916 to 1945. Many collectors start with this set because of its aesthetic design and low price. The common practice is to complete the collection and later replace specific dates with better-graded specimens.

1920 Mercury dime value*

Quality 1920 1920 S 1920 D
Good $1.9 $3 $2.5
Very good $2.4 $ 3.4 $2.5
Fine $2.8 $ 4.5 $2.5
Very fine $3.3 $ 6.1 /
Extra fine $4.4 / /

*by Numista

The value of the basic Mercury dime set starts with $181 for good-graded coins. Those with pieces in the mint state are more pricey and sometimes reach tens of thousands of dollars. PCGS estimates a complete FB Mercury dime set in MS 66 grade at around $786,620.

 

1920 Mercury Dime Grading

1920 Mercury Dime Grading

The crucial factors defining the 1920 Mercury dime value are its grade and the mint mark. Examining high-grade coins is demanding since experts look for specific details on both coin sides to make a precise estimation.

Uncirculated – Only a limited number of 1920 Mercury dimes never went into circulation. Their design is perfectly preserved, and there are no signs of wear and scratches. As you can guess, this coin is in the top-notch state, and it is always the most attractive to collectors.

1920 Mercury dime value*

Quality 1920 1920 S 1920 D
MS 61 $60 to $81 $650 to $845 $300 to $390
MS 62 $70 to $94 $800 to $1020 $400 to $520
MS 63 $95 to $128 $1,100 to $1,380 $580 to $754
MS 64 $140 to $182 $1,900 to $2,380 $960 to $1,230
MS 65 $330 to $429 $4.000 to $5,000 $1,500 to $1,880
MS 66 $450 to $585 $8,400 to $10,500 $4,200 to $5,250
MS 67 $1.350 to $1,690 $60,000 to $72,000 $35,000 to $42,000
MS 68 $3,500 to $4,800 / /

*by Greysheet

Extra fine – This dime was slightly damaged while being in use. You can notice the lightly flattened delicate details on Liberty’s face and olive branches. However, all the letters and WA initials are visible, and most of the design is still beautiful.

Fine – A coin circulating for years always shows age traces, and you can see scratches and discoloration on its surface. The portrait is generally flat, and the feathers on the winged cap are gone.

The same smoothness occurs on the reverse. The band lines have disappeared while the olive branch has become almost unrecognizable.

1920 Mercury dime value*

Quality 1920 1920 S 1920 D
Good $3.3 $3.3 $3.3
Very good $3.6 $3.8 $3.8
Fine $4.8 $8.6 $6.7
Very fine $6.7 $11.4 $9.5
Extra fine $9.5 $20.9 $26.6
Uncirculated $29 $119 $119
Brilliant uncirculated $238 $1,330 $713
Brilliant uncirculated FB $523 $7,600 $4,750

*by Hobbizine

Good – Mercury dimes in this grade are the easiest to acquire. They are heavily damaged, most of the details are gone, and the rim is no longer separated from the coin field.

The last two digits on the date are worn and barely recognizable, and the whole coin surface is flat. The Liberty’s hair is one area with the cap, and the face lines have almost disappeared.

 

Summary

The starting price for the 1920 Mercury dime is its melt value, which fluctuates depending on the silver melt value. Coins in the mint state are worth more, especially Full Bands pieces. The mint mark also affects dimes value, and those with S or D marks are typically expensive.

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