1945 Mercury Dime: Production Booms During World War 2
Mercury Dime Overview
A practically unknown dime design among non-collectors, the Mercury Dime has a strong following by many collectors. With elegant obverse and reverse designs, it is regarded as one of the most beautiful dimes ever made.
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Designed by Adolph Weinman in 1915, the Mercury Dime was actually named the Winged Liberty Head Dime. Although the actual obverse bust is of Lady Liberty, many people still think that it is the Roman God, Mercury. Nonetheless, the idea stuck and the Winged Liberty Head Dime is more commonly called the Mercury Dime.
The obverse design features a bust of Lady Liberty wearing a winged cap. The words “IN GOD WE TRUST” can be found under Liberty’s chin and the date is to the lower right of the bust. A large motto, “LIBERTY”, is along the rim above and through the bust.
Weinman’s reverse was just as unique as the obverse and included a fasces, which is a hatchet surrounded by wooden rods. An olive branch runs in the background, and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is found just to the right. The mottos, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “ONE DIME”, run along the entire rim.
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 1945 Mercury Dime
The 1945 Mercury Dime is unique in the fact that it is the last year of production for the Mercury Dime series. This ended the 30-year production of arguably the nation's most beautiful dime. Replacing the Mercury Dime in 1946 was the newly designed Roosevelt Dime.
During 1945, the Mint at Philadelphia claims to have struck 159,130,000 Mercury Dimes. This mintage figure was common for most of the final years of production due to increased demand from the World War II economy.
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.
Demand for Late-Year Mercury Dimes
One of the most interesting things that appear when looking at the mintages of the entire Mercury Dime series is the extreme increase in production during the war years.
Before the Second World War broke out, the average mintage figure for Mercury Dimes was somewhere around 30 million pieces. During the years of 1941-1945, this average increased dramatically to about 175 million.
This rapid increase in mintage could be attributed to the fact that more money was needed for the war effort. Despite the rationing that happened, hard money was still in great demand by both consumers and the government.
Directors at the mint helped address the money shortage by increasing production to more than five times the original!
Looking forward to the end of the second world war, production of the Roosevelt Dime returned to normal two years after World War II ended.
Since so many Mercury Dimes were minted in these years, many examples exist in both low and high condition.
Valuing the 1945 Mercury Dime
Although many examples still survive today, prices tend to be above silver value for most grades. Only Good 4 coins are worth scrap silver prices, which is currently $1.50.
Fine 12 coins can see a price of $2.50 and Extremely Fine 45 examples are valued at $2.75.
Prices for Uncirculated 1945 Mercury Dimes begin to rise much faster than those that are circulated. Values start at $8 for MS-60 examples and jump to $11 for MS-65 examples.
Premium uncirculated 1945 Mercury Dimes, like MS-63, see a large jump to $28. Many high-grade examples in MS-65 condition still exist and keep the price down around $70.
It is estimated that 20,000 Uncirculated 1945 Mercury Dimes still exist. Of these 20,000 examples, it is believed that 12,000 are of MS-65 condition or better. These estimates mean that the prices for Premium Uncirculated 1945 Mercury Dimes will continue to stay depressed.