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The Mercury Dime - A Brief History

You will find much more buying and selling information on the Mercury dime and 11 other popular U.S. 90% silver coins in my Kindle eBook The Last US 90 Percent Silver Coins

The Silver "Mercury" Dime (officially known as the Winged Liberty Head Dime) first made its appearance in 1916 as a replacement for the Liberty Head (Barber) silver dime (1892-1916). Designed by Adolph A. Weinman, this popular silver coin was produced by the Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints until 1946 when it was replaced by the Roosevelt dime.

Because the Mercury Dime was a popular coin with good purchasing power, many millions were minted and placed into circulation. Over 300,000,000 silver dimes were produced in 1942 and again in 1943 and 1944 making these the most common dates for this silver coin. The rarest Mercury Dime is the 1916D (only 264,000 minted) followed by the 1921D (1,230,000) and 1921 (1,230,000).

The Silver Mercury Dime - Useful Details

Silver Mercury Dime Obverse ViewSilver Mercury Dime Reverse ViewThe Silver Mercury Dime features the image of a Winged Liberty Head on the obverse side with a fasces and olive branch on the reverse (fasces: a bundle of white birch rods bound together around an ax with the blade projecting, carried before ancient Roman magistrates as an emblem of authority). Click on either image of this Mercury 1942 Silver Dime to see a larger picture.

The mint mark is located on the reverse side - lower left (click on the above right image - the red dot is where the mint mark is located). Mint marks are "D" for Denver and "S" for the San Francisco Mints. If no mint mark appears, it was minted in Philadelphia.

Silver Mercury Dimes consist of 90% silver and 10% copper. Uncirculated silver dimes contain .0723 Troy ounces of pure silver with a gross weight of .080 Troy ounces (2.50 grams). Circulated silver dimes are considered to contain .0715 Troy ounces of pure silver due to the "wear factor" in handling these coins. Fourteen silver dimes contain about one ounce of silver.

To determine the value of a circulated Silver Mercury Dime, multiply .0715 times the current spot price of silver (can be found on the Home Page).

Example: $20.00 x .0715 = $1.43

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