How Much is a 1942 Dime Worth? (Price Chart)

Collectors and dealers love 1942 Mercury dimes that belong to the 90% silver coins series, officially known as the Winged Liberty Head dime. Mercury dime earned its common name due to the resemblance between Miss Liberty and an ancient Roman god with the same name.

This series’ minting started in 1916 and lasted until 1945. The designer was Adolph Alexander Weinman, and many consider his Mercury dimes one of the most beautiful small coins ever made in the US. However, popularity is not crucial for 1942 Dime value. Let’s see.

Mercury Dimes

Mercury Dimes
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The Mercury dime production period started in 1916 after the US Mint Director Robert W. Woolley call. He planned to make a significant change of the American coins and replace the Barber dimes that were in use from 1892 until 1916. The production period of the Mercury dime was 29 years long.

Designer Adolph A. Weinman accepted the challenge in 1916 with the new dime design that included a bust of Lady Liberty covering the dime front side. The word Liberty found its place centrally over the Lady’s bust.

On the left side of the coin, just next to the Lady, was the famous motto IN GOD WE TRUST, and the date was right below the Lady. You can also see a letter W next to Lady Liberty as a symbol of Weinman’s initial.

The coin reverse also had a unique design that Weinman precisely created to detail. Wooden rods found their place around the hatchet, with olive branches around.

The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the denomination ONE CENT stand around the coin edge. Finally, you can notice E PLURIBUS UNUM written on the right side of the fasces or hatchet.

History

History

Almost every dime from different dates experienced a high mintage process until the end of its era, just like the 1942 Mercury dime. According to the US Mint, Philadelphia mint produced more than 200,000,000 dimes that particular year. This production era was the second biggest in the entire history of the Mercury dime series.

Unfortunately, there was a quality problem with most Mercury dimes having a frail strike throughout the entire production period. Therefore, coins with Full Bands that show evident splits between each band around the fasces have a higher value.

1942 Mercury dime

Location Year Minted Value
Philadelphia 1942 205,410,000 $4
Philadelphia 1942/1 unknown $625 to $1,000
Philadelphia 1942 proof 22,329 $400
San Francisco 1942 S 49,300,000 $4
Denver 1942 D 60,740,000 $4
Denver 1942/1 D unknown $675 to $1,200
Total 1942 315,472,329 /

The primary composition of the Mercury dime is 90% silver and only 10% copper, making them high-purity silver coins. Their diameter is 0.7 inches (17.91 mm), and each coin weighs precisely 0.0723 troy ounces (2.25 g).

You can also find rare 1942 proof Mercury dimes, presenting the part of the last proof production for US coins before it started again in 1950.

1942 Mercury Dime Value

1942 Mercury Dime Value

1942 Mercury dimes are the most recognizable coins worldwide, with more than 300 million pieces produced this year. It is the second-highest number of minting coins in one year.

1942 Mercury dime value by USA Coin book
Quality 1942 1942 (42 over 41) 1942 S 1942 D
Good $2.1 $307 $2.1 $2.1
Very good $2.7 $495 $2.7 $2.7
Fine $3.2 $673 $3.2 $3.2
Very fine $3.3 $888 $3.3 $3.3
Extra fine $3.5 $1,107 $3.5 $3.5
About uncirculated $4.5 $1,880 $5 $4.5
Mint state 60 $6.2 $2,746 $8.3 $6.2
Mint state 65 $34 $16,644 $39 $34
Proof 65 $307 / / /

You can quickly find or sell any Mercury dime in circulated condition for a few dollars. However, most coins are usually available in an even better state than circulated, and their value is almost always higher.

Some uncirculated units graded MS 60 with standard dates can reach $6 to $8. On the other hand, a few MS 65 coins can cost up to $35.

1942 dime value by Gainesville coins
Quality 1942 1942 S 1942 D
Extra fine $4.6 $4.6 $4.6
Mint state 65 $23 $23 $27
1942 Full Bands $40 $125 $40
Proof $175 / /

Determining the precise value is not just about the grade. The crucial is how well defined are the bands on the dime fasces. Ordinary things are flat surfaces in the middle of the bands and sticks around the fasces.

For instance, Full Band coins with excellent sharpness over the details are more challenging to find, so they are much more valuable.

Nowadays, having a complete set with all the dates and marks can cost you $30,925 for coins graded MS 63. On the other hand, you should pay $61,640 for a set of MS 65 dimes.

1942 S Mercury Dime Value

1942 S Mercury Dime Value

The San Francisco mint produced about 49,300,000 Mercury dimes with a face value of $0.10 in 1942. Each coin weighs 0.0723 troy ounces (2.25 g) and contains 90% silver. Its rough estimated value is $2 when the coin is in average condition, but some excellent pieces graded MS 65 can reach even $50 at an auction.

1942 Mercury dime value by JM Bullion
Coin Good quality Fine quality Extra fine quality Uncirculated quality
1942 Mercury dime $2.25 $2.25 $3.25 $4.5
1942 S Mercury dime $2.25 $3 $3.25 $6
1942 D Mercury dime $2.25 $5 $3.25 $4.5

Remember that you can only get the best value for your coin after a top coin grading company certifies it.

You can always get at least $0.28 more for the coin in good condition than the silver value of $1.72 since collectors appreciate this valuable part of American history more than the silver it contains. That makes this coin an excellent long-term investment.

1942 D Mercury Dime Value

1942 D Mercury Dime Value
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Denver mint produced approximately 60,740,000 Mercury dimes in 1942. Even though its face value is $0.10 and 0.0723 troy ounces (2.25 g) melted silver that it contains costs only $1.72, you can get at least $2 to $4 for this coin.

Certified coins in mint state condition sometimes reach $50 at an auction. Rare Winged Liberty dimes with an error in the date can cost $600 to $8,000, depending on an auction and interested collectors. 1942 D Mercury dimes are pretty common, but you can hardly find those graded over MS 67. They are rare and costly.

1942 Mercury Dimes with Full Bands

This particular Mercury dime has complete horizontal lines in the fasces crossbands on the reverse. Many collectors chose such a coin since designer Adolph A. Weinman preferred this design.

Expensive sets with Full Band Mercury dimes can go up to $64,700 for MS 63 and even $304,415 for MS 65. Experts estimate that a full set with MS 67 Full Band coins can go up to an impressive $750,000. To compare, you should pay only about $8,000 for a complete set of extra-fine dimes.

1942 Mercury dime value by CoinStudy, 9/13/2021
Coin Good quality Fine quality Extra fine quality Uncirculated quality
1942 Mercury dime $1.75 $1.85 $2 $5
1942/41 Mercury dime $233 $246 $345 $1,990
1942 S Mercury dime $1.75 $1.85 $2 $7.5
1942 D Mercury dime $1.75 $1.85 $2 $5

 

1942/1 Mercury Dime Error

19421 Mercury Dime Error

The Mercury dime production skyrocketed during WWII, and overall production increased from a few million coins before the war to 175 million in 1941 and 205 million in 1942. The Philadelphia mint adaptation was extraordinary, and coins made there in that particular period were highly appreciated. However, they also produced a famous 1942/1 Mercury dime error.

These 1942/41 coins from Philadelphia and Denver mints that contain an overdate error are the most notable variations of this dollar among collectors. Their minting was the aftereffect of untrained staff and defective dies, so they created 1942 dollars with the previous year’s date.

You can effortlessly notice this overdate error in most cases. Typically, you will see the number 1 from 41 next to the number 2 in 42. Another indicator that it is an error coin is that number 4 in 42 shows doubling signs.

The most significant error in the Mercury dime series includes 3,400 found and graded coins. Still, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one of them nowadays.

On the other hand, you should be careful since PCGS graded only 1,600 of them, and ungraded coins are worth considerably less. Plus, overdate 1942 Mercury dimes in higher conditions than uncirculated are incredibly rare and very expensive.

Their price varies from $335 for a good quality coin to $1,200 for the extra fine one. Those in minted condition are more expensive, and you need to set aside up to $3,000 for MS 60 coin and more than $16,000 for MS 65. The rare, top-quality MS 66 FB and MS 67 FB coins can reach high prices of $85,000 and even $120,000.

Summary

1942 Mercury dimes are popular among collectors worldwide, but it can be challenging to find those worth buying. In this case, the dime’s value has nothing to do with its composition materials but with its rarity and condition. Many collectors will buy rare and valuable sets for a considerable amount of money without much hesitation.

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