10 Most Valuable Mercury Dimes: A Complete Guide

Mercury Dime. Weird name, isn’t it? What exactly are mercury dimes? Mercury dimes are silver dimes issued anytime from late 1916 to 1945 and are a must-have piece for all collector’s sets.

Most Valuable Mercury Dimes

What Are Mercury Dimes Made Of

No, Mercury dimes are not made of Mercury. They are actually made of 90% silver, according to JM Bullion.

Different Grades

Throughout this article, we’ve seen plenty of MS 66 and 67 coins, but what other grades of coins are there? The Sheldon Scale divides coins into three categories and 70 grades: circulated (grades 1-45), about uncirculated (50-59), and uncirculated (60-70) . The circulated coins are regular coins used in everyday life, the about uncirculated coins are coins never used but with signs of wear, and the uncirculated coins were never used and have no signs of wear, also known as mint state, or MS.

10 Most Valuable Mercury Dimes in the World

Below, I have listed the most valuable mercury dimes in existence.

1919-D Dime
1916-D Dime
1918-S Dime
1942/1 10C FS-101
1945 10C
1935-S Dime
1920-S Dime
1925-S Dime
1926-D Dime
1921-D Dime

1. 1919-D Dime

Value: $218,000

Grade: PCGS MS 66

1919-D Dime

The 1919-D Dime also has a peculiar name. Don’t all the Ds remind you of D-Day in WWII? Well, the D may not be the same as that of WWII, but it is still very important.

If you look to the bottom right of the reverse side of the coin, you will see a small letter D, signifying the fact that this particular coin was minted at the Denver facility of the San Francisco mint. This minor detail makes 1919-D Dimes much more valuable than the Philadelphia dimes, which do not have the signature letter D.

You may have heard of the renowned 1916-D Dime. Would it surprise you to hear that although the 1919-D Dime had 9,939,000 coins minted and the 1916-D Dime only 264,000 coins minted, the 1919-D Dime is often considered rarer than the latter? While the 1916-D Dime has a comparatively large percentage of coins in excellent condition, the 1919-D Dime has many examples of fully split and poorly rounded crossbands.

When a 1919-D Dime with a split and fully rounded crossband appears among its imperfect siblings, its value and rarity skyrockets past even that of the 1916-D Dime. This particular specimen has brilliant silver coloring with soft golden overtones and unmistakably has a spot in the best Mercury dime collections assembled. Only one other specimen graded MS 66 with full bands has been discovered, making this dime even rarer.

Dimes minted in 1919 are typically worth 7 dollars  in average condition and between 228 dollars to 1,926 dollars in uncirculated condition, with the occasional rare dime worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 1919, 35,740,000 dimes were minted in Philadelphia, 9,939,000 dimes were minted in Denver, and 8,850,000 dimes were minted in San Francisco.

2. 1916-D Dime

Value: $195,000

Grade: PCGS MS 67

1916-D Dime

As mentioned above, the 1916-D Dime has a very low mintage of 246,000 coins, much lower than some of its peers, such as the 1919-D DIme. Why is the 1916-D Dime mintage so low? In November 1916, all 1916-D Dimes were released and their production halted in favor of that of quarters when the United States Treasury Department submitted a late and abrupt order for 4 million quarters.

The 1916-D Dimes are coveted not simply due to their low mintage level but also because of their status as “first-year-of-issue type coins.”  Out of the four different reverse dies belonging to the 1919-D Dime, this specimen possesses the second reverse die with the words “E-Pluribus Unum,” meaning “one out of many.” Possessing beautiful mint frost shimmering amongst gold, blue, gray, and olive toning with sharp central bands and smooth surfaces, this specimen is strikingly handsome.

Dimes minted in 1916 are different from dimes minted in other years because they mark the end of the Barber dimes and the beginning of the new era of Mercury dimes. In 1916, a total of 24,310,000 Barber dimes and 32,894,000 Mercury dimes were minted. According to the USA coin book , 1916 Barber dimes range in value from 4 dollars to 251 dollars depending on their grade, and 1916 Mercury dimes range in value from 3.6 dollars to 31,000 dollars depending on their grade and location of mintage.

3. 1918-S Dime

Value: $144,000

Grade: PCGS MS 67

1918-S Dime

Long known as one of the rarest Mercury dimes in existence, the 1918-S Dime is one of only seven coins ranked by both PCGS and NCG as MS67 or MS68 and only one of two coins (twins) that are designated full bands. This specimen and its twin are the celebrities of the coinage collections and have been well known for decades and decades. Previously auctioned at the Central States Signature for over 63,000 dollars and was awarded a CAC green label, this specimen was later sold on January 10, 2019, for 144,000 dollars.

This specimen of the 1918-S Dime has a sharp center and distinct horizontal and diagonal fasces bands. Frost-like luster is adorned by light gold toning, and the dime is in near perfect condition.

In the year 1918, a total of 68,654,800 dimes were minted: 26,680,000 regular Mercury dimes, 22,674,800 1918-D Mercury dimes, and 19,300,000 1918-S Mercury dimes. 1918 uncirculated dimes are worth around 75 dollars for Philadelphia examples and 250 dollars for Denver or San Francisco examples. Well-graded, unique 1918 dimes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

4. 1942/1 10C FS-101

Value: $120,000

Grade: PCGS MS 66

1942 10C FS-101

Look closely at the name of this dime- the 1942/1 10C FS-101. What does the /1 mean after 1942? If you examine the number 1942 at the bottom of the obverse side of the coin, it becomes apparent that there is a 1 printed right before the 2 in 1942.

Originally, when numismatists beheld overdates like this, they assumed that overdates were the result of a worker accidentally re-engraving a number over the original number; however, the 1942/1 10C FS-101 would soon set this straight. Since the 1942/1 coin’s error was much more obvious than previous coin errors, it was discovered early on and speculation quickly ensued. It became obvious that the real cause of the overdate was due to a 1942 dime overstriking a 1941 dime.

This specimen of the 1942/1 10C FS-101 dimes is one of only nine 1942/1 10C FS-101 dimes with a PCGS grade with full bands.

Dimes minted in 1942 are worth anywhere from 4 dollars  to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on their condition and mintage location. In 1942, a total of 315,472,000 dimes were minted, much more than in, say, 1918.

5. 1945 10C

Value: $96,000

Grade: PCGS MS 67+

1945 10C

Quite possibly the rarest dime with full bands and good condition originating from 1920 to 1945, this example belongs to the finest NGC Registry Set. Sold on January 4, 2018, this specimen demonstrates frost-like luster, iridescent shades within silver, and bold fasces bands. Nearly perfect in appearance, this coin is truly worth its cost.

Unlike dimes from other years, dimes minted in 1945 marked the end of the production of the Mercury Dimes and the end of WWII, two greatly important landmarks. Such dimes range in value from 3 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to something borrowed. A total of 240,665,000 dimes were minted in 1945, a bit less than that of 1942.

6. 1935-S Dime

Value: $90,000

Grade: PCGS MS 68

1935-S Dime

Although the PCGS-S Dime has many attainable and relatively invaluable specimens with full bands graded PCGS 67, specimens with full bands graded higher are collectively sought after by Registry Set collectors and other specialists. First appearing in an auction in 2011, this specimen was valued at 19,000 dollars before skyrocketing to 90,000 dollars on January 10, 2019. Possessing almost perfect details, the dime has beautiful blue and pink toning intertwining and a luminous surface.

In 1935, 58,830,000 dimes were minted in Philadelphia, 10,477,000 dimes were minted in Denver, and 15,840,000 dimes were minted in San Francisco. Dimes from 1935 are worth anywhere from 3 dollars  to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on numerous factors such as condition and rarity.

7. 1920-S Dime

Value: $72,000

Grade: PCGS MS 67

1920-S Dime

One of only three 1920-S Dimes graded MS67, this specimen has clear central detail on the fasces with beautiful full bands and frosty mint luster with lilac and gold toning. Russet and copper patina adorn the borders of the coin. Unlike most 1920-S Dimes, this specimen has a clearly defined final digit of the year 1920.

Only one other of its kind has been offered at auction by Heritage Auctions – the Kritzman specimen, which was sold for $60,000 in the ANA Signature, lot 4502. This specimen was sold for $72,000 on January 10, 2019.

In 1920, the Philadelphia mint produced 59,030,000 Mercury dimes, much, much more than in previous years. To even out the number of Mercury dimes, production of dimes for years after 1920 slowed significantly. Dimes minted in 1920 can be worth anywhere from 3.27 dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

8. 1925-S Dime

Value: $66,000

Grade: PCGS MS 67

1925-S Dime

Possessing a beautiful glistening luster with light gold toning mixed with lilac and light blue, this specimen is truly handsome. Sharp strikes and full bands only add to this coin’s allure. Truly rare, only four other 1925-S Mercury dimes are graded PCGS MS 67, few of which are attainable at auctions.

This example sold on January 10, 2019, for $66,000, and its sister sold five years before for $23,000 in the Philadelphia Signature, lot 5103.

Mercury dimes minted in 1925 are typically valued at anywhere from 3 dollars to 110 dollars depending on their condition and mintage location, according to JM Bullion.  Unique cases sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Five years after the 1920 overproduction of Mercury dimes, mints saw a rebound in mintage amount, with 36,577,000 total dimes produced in 1925, according to coinvalues.com .

9. 1926-D Dime

Value: $60,000

Grade: PCGS MS 67

1926-D Dime

Compared to the quarters and nickels produced during the year 1926, many more dimes were produced this year. However, because dimes with full bands become very rare as the PCGS grade rises above 65, fine-graded 1926-D dimes are decidedly valuable. This particular specimen is one of the two finest 1926-D dimes in existence, making it even more precious.

Showing off shiny mint luster, sharp definition, amber borders, and beautiful gold, green, and lilac toning, this specimen is absolutely the prettiest of its kind. This specimen is in near-perfect preservation, well worth its high grade.

Following the 1925 dimes, dimes minted in 1926 are worth from 3 dollars to hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars depending on condition, mintage location, and rarity, according to the usacoinbook.com. In 1926, over 32 million dimes were minted.

10. 1921-D Dime

Value: $50,000

Grade: PCGS MS 66+

1921-D Dime

As you can see by its name, this 1926-D Dime hails from the Denver mint. Specifically, this coin was minted in a batch of little more than a million coins, the second smallest issue out of all Mercury dimes, making this specimen incredibly rare. Dimes with full bands and graded 66+ are very, very rare.

Boasting a cold mint luster and warm golden toning, this specimen has central sharpness and slight weakness around the borders.

Compared to previous and later years, dimes produced in the year 1921 are few with only 1 million dimes, likely due to the overproduction of dimes in the Philadelphia mint in 1920 with nearly 60 million dimes. Dimes from 1921 are generally worth a bit more than dimes from other years, valued at anywhere from 29 dollars  to tens of thousands of dollars.

Wrapping Up

After learning all about United States Mercury dimes, you may have some questions. Leave all questions, concerns, thoughts below, and we’ll do our best to get back to you. Visit our other articles, and you may find them as enjoyable as this one.

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