Important Date 1916-D, 1921, and 1921-D Mercury Dimes The Mercury dime was issued between the world wars, from 1916 to 1945, during the Renaissance of American Coinage....
Key Dates for the Mercury Dime: 1892 - First coinage of dime by Morgan family (not actually a dime, but called one for eight years). 1903 - Altered design of the coin, now called the Mercury dime. It is worth 10 cents. 1916 - First year of issuance of the Mercury dime. 1921 - Second year of issue of the Mercury dime. 1921-D - Third year of issue of the Mercury dime. These dates will not appear on coins produced before or after them, even if they have similar designs.
1892 - Morgan family dies out, leaving John Rogers III as the only person with access to the coinage process. A new die is made for each coin designed, so the coin you own may be different from others that have been released in previous years.
This change follows a recommendation by an independent committee appointed by President Roosevelt to study our coinage system. Before this change, dimes were valued at 20 cents.
The Mercury dime is a ten-cent piece produced by the United States Mint between late 1916 and 1945. It was the third coin to bear the name "Mercury", after the Roman god of commerce. The word "dime" is an abbreviation for dollar amount, first used in reference to the Mercury dime in 1914. The term is now used generally for any small monetary unit.
The 1916-1945 period covers the time when silver coins were legal tender at a value of 10 cents per ounce. The Mercury dime was designed by John Flanagan and his brother Joseph Flanigan. The obverse (front) design depicts a stylized representation of the head of Heracles (or Hercules), known from ancient Greek art. This was the second time that the Flanagans had designed a Mercury; they also created the 1915-1916 Mercury nickel.
The reverse (back) design shows a scene from American history with men digging trenches on the West Coast of America during the Mexican War. A soldier stands guard while another digs a trench. In the background are two guns ready to fire. This image is taken from a copper plate engraved by George T. Morgan and used as the basis for the coin's 1916-1945 likeness.
The 1916-D Mercury dime is the series' pivotal date. Only 264,000 were produced, and even fewer still exist today, making it one of the most scarce regular-issue, circulation-strike coins of the twentieth century. The 1916-D also has the lowest mintage value of any Mercurydime at $1,000.
Other rare dates include: 1904-P569 (first year of production), 1907-S75 (first year of production with the new Seated Liberty design), 1909-O89 (first year of production with the new Overprint style), and 1913-O113 (first year of production with the new Overprint style).
These are just some of the hundreds of different varieties of Mercurys. There are more than seven thousand known varieties alone within the 1916-D series!
In conclusion, the 1916-D Mercury dime is the rarest of all Mercury dimes.