The most popular design for the ten cent denomination is the Mercury Dime, which was produced from 1916 to 1945. During this time period mintages varied widely from just a few hundred thousand for the well known key date to more than 200 million for some years. Assembling an a collection for each date and mint mark within the series is an ambitious but approachable goal for collectors.
Designed by Adolph A. Weinman, the obverse of the coin features a portrait of Liberty facing left. She wears a winged cap, which led to the popular moniker for the series. It is often noted that the Roman god Mercury actually had wings on his feet. The obverse inscriptions are “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, and the date. On the reverse is a Roman fasces, which consists of sticks bound around an axe, and an olive branch. The inscriptions are “United States of America”, “One Dime”, and “E Pluribus Unum”.
For the Mercury Dime series:
- There are a total of 77 different date and mint mark combinations, including coins struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints.
- Across all issues of the series, there were 2,676,523,880 coins produced. This is more than five times the production of the previous Barber Dime series, which had roughly the same number of issues.
- The peak mintage occurred with the 1944 Mercury Dime, with 231,410,000 coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
- The lowest mintage issue and famous key date is the 1916-D Mercury Dime. There were a scant 264,000 pieces minted and most were well circulated before being saved by collectors.
- The average mintage across all issues is 34,760,050.
Mercury Dime Mintages