Series notes: Mercury Dimes

Mercury dimes, also known as ?Winged Liberty Head? dimes, were designed by noted artist Adolph A. Weinman and were struck from 1916 through 1945. Mercury dimes are extremely popular with a wide variety of hobbyists and are often collected and sold in complete circulated date-and-mintmark sets.

The indisputable key date for the Mercury dime series is the 1916-D, which has a relatively small mintage of 264,000 pieces and is considerably scarce in all grades. Semi keys include the 1921 and 1921-D, with the 1926-S a tougher lower-mintage coin that is particularly scarce in the better grades. Most of the remaining issues in the Mercury dime series are categorically common.

While the majority of the Mercury dime series consists of coins that are widely available and relatively inexpensive, virtually all of the issues present a challenge in at least one area of grading: those that contain fully split bands (FSB) on the fasces seen on the reverse of the coin. FSB Mercury dimes range from scarce to extraordinarily rare, depending on the date and numerical grade. Most FSB Mercury dimes trade for substantial premiums over similarly graded non-FSB issues.