Mercury Dime Overview
With a design that showcased the beauty of modern American art, the Winged Liberty Dime is regarded as one of the most beautiful dimes ever minted. Commonly called the Mercury Dime, the bust is not of the Roman God Mercury but rather Liberty wearing a winged cap.
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The unique obverse and reverse were designed by Adolph Weinman in 1915 to replace the Barber Dime. Weinman was so good at designing US coinage that both his dime and Half Dollar designs were approved by the Mint to be put into production. Both the Mercury Dime and Walking Liberty Half Dollar are regarded as some of the best designs in all US coinage history.
On the obverse, the main design is a bust of Lady Liberty facing left and wearing a winged cap. The date of mintage can be found below Liberty’s neck and the motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST”, is to the left of the bust. “LIBERTY” can be found centered above the bust near the rim of the coin.
The reverse is interesting as it features a Roman fasces, which is a hatchet surrounded by wooden rods. An olive branch can be seen behind the fasces and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” can be found just to the right.” UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “ONE DIME” can be found along the rims of the reverse.
Want to know more about the Mercury Dime as well as other collectible US Dimes? Be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Collectible Dimes.
History Of The 1936 Mercury Dime
1936 was a year that saw a larger-than-average mintage figure for Mercury Dimes at the Philadelphia Mint.
The Mint at Philadelphia reports minting a total of 87,500,000 Mercury Dimes dated in 1936. This was the highest mintage for any year in the 1930s.
Production of the Mercury Dime would really take off during the 1940s, especially after the end of the second world war.
Another interesting fact about the time period was that most Mercury Dimes had different levels of strike quality. Most dimes exhibited an average or weak strike with those that displayed an above average strike being quite rare. Those that do display a better strike are worth significantly more.
Like all other Mercury Dimes, the 1944 Mercury Dime features a composition made up of 90% silver and 10% copper. Physical properties included a weight of 2.50 grams and a diameter of 17.91mm
Collecting Mercury Dimes
Mercury Dimes are a fun and rewarding series of US coins to collect. They represent a time in American history that had a great boom then a great bust, as well as two world wars.
With most Mercury Dimes being relatively cheap in grades lower than Uncirculated, it is quite easy to put together a collection. The availability of Mercury Dimes also makes it easy to find dates that you need to complete a collection.
There are some dates in the series that will be harder or more expensive to obtain but have been proven to hold their value over the years. These key and semi-key dates can be had in lower grades for a much lower price.
Another interesting way to collect Mercury Dimes is to try to obtain all the varieties present in the series. Repunched dates and small and large mint mark varieties are prevalent throughout the entire series.
Be sure to look through your local coin dealer’s Mercury Dimes and even go to reputable dealers online to help find good deals and the dates that you need.
No matter how you collect Mercury Dimes, you will be building up an investment in both coins and silver. Both the coin market and silver market can continue to rise resulting in future gains.
Valuing The 1936 Mercury Dime
The value of the 1936 Mercury Dime is very dependent on its condition. Because the coin is mainly silver, the lowest price it will ever be worth is silver value, which is currently $1.25.
Lower grade Mercury Dimes are worth a small premium over the silver value. Good 4, Fine 12, and Extremely Fine 40 conditions are worth $1.52, $2.52, and $2.97 respectively. These prices do not have much of a spread between grades as there many that still exist today.
Uncirculated examples realize much higher prices as they are normally sought after by collectors and have fewer that survived. MS-60 1936 Mercury Dimes are worth $10 in today's market. A jump to $17.50 is seen in MS-63 and MS-65 examples are valued at $37. Currently, an MS-67 example retails for $125.
1936 Mercury Dimes that have a much better strike are worth significantly more than average and weak strikes. Normally these coins will be easy to identify but are hard to come across.