Rare Mercury Dimes: How Much Are They Worth?



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Many people wonder how much their rare Mercury dimes may be worth. That is, if they’re even rare at all.

Of course, the moment somebody finds or inherits an old coin, they usually wonder right away if it’s rare.

Mercury dimes, also called Winged Liberty Head dimes, were minted from 1916 to 1945 and are indeed old coins. But are they all rare?

The answer is no, not all Mercury dimes are rare.

In fact, during each of most of the years that Mercury dimes were made, millions upon millions were turned out by the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco branches of the United States Mint.

There are, however, a few dates in the Mercury dime series that are considered scare – even rare.

Do you have any of the following?

 

  • 1916-D Mercury dime – The key date for the series, the 1916-D is indeed a rare coin. A mere 264,000 were minted, and without a doubt, even fewer exist today. For decades, this coin has been recognized as a popular rarity, and because it is also part of a heavily collected series of coins, has long been a relatively expensive coin to purchase. Values for the 1916-D start at around $1,000 for a heavily worn specimen (Good-4). However, for an uncirculated 1916-D, expect to pay between $10,000 and $15,000 or more.
  • 1921 Mercury dime – Among rare Mercury dimes, the 1921 may not be the most expensive, but it is not a date to sneeze at. With only 1.2 million ever minted, the 1921 Mercury dime is among the scarcest issues and can be a relatively tough date to find. Values begin at around $50 in Good-4 and climb to more than $1,000 for uncirculated examples.
  • 1921-D Mercury dime – Like its Philadelphia-minted cousin, the 1921-D Mercury dime is an early 1920s coin issue that has a low mintage and, thus, is in high demand among those who need this coin to fill their albums and sets. Look to spend at least $60 to buy a decent, Good-4 specimen. You could spend more than $1,200 for an example in uncirculated grades.
  • 1931-D Mercury dime – A tough date for many collectors of rare Mercury dimes, 1.8 million 1931-D dimes were minted. At $10 for a Good-4 example, the album slot for a 1931-D Mercury dime is certainly more affordable to fill than the other dates in this list. The price of this Mercury dime easily tops $100 for an uncirculated example.
  • 1942/1 Mercury dime – this is an overdate variety that has gained a lot of attention over the years, especially from those who specialize in rare Mercury dimes. Though this is not really en essential addition if you’re out to simply collect all regular-issue date-and-mintmark combinations in the series, get ready to lay down $500 or more to buy an example.
  • 1942/1-D Mercury dime – A similar overdate variety arose at the Denver mint that same year, resulting in mintmarked examples of the 1942/1 Mercury dime. The Denver issue is also worth around $500 and up.

 

As you can see, there aren’t many rare Mercury dimes to collect, but those which were made are worth a pretty penny (or dime!) and definitely have a strong coin collector following.

As you should do whenever buying any rare coins, don’t settle for the first example you see, watch out for too-good-to-be-true bargains, and be sure you buy authenticated, slabbed coins whenever possible.

Joshua

I'm the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I'm a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I'm also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I've contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I've authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!

83 thoughts on “Rare Mercury Dimes: How Much Are They Worth?

      1. I have found in pocket change a 1952-S, what is so unique is the 5 is stamped over a 1 in date. What do you think and any information is greatly appreciated?

  1. kind of bummed!!! i have a 1941 in a coin case and excellent shape and it’s not even worth much lol

    1. Dreasmith,

      A regular 1942 Mercury dime with a typical amount of wear is worth around $3.

  2. I found a 1941 Mercury dime in taped in a  birthday card from 1941  in scrapbook  that was stored away  since then  it is like new  –    watcha think 

    1. Wow, what an interesting find. If it is in uncirculated condition (no wear), it is worth at least $5 to $10. I would be curious if the adhesive on the tape and the sulfur from the card created any interesting coloration. Beautifully, naturally toned coins can be worth a premium.

    1. Dee,

      Your 1943 Mercury dime is worth around $5, given current silvers and the assumption that it is in typical condition.

    1. Hi, Juan –

      Your 1944 Mercury dime is worth around $3. The W is not a mintmark but, rather, the initial for Adolph Weinman, who designed the Mercury dime.

        1. Hi, Brenda —

          Your 1944 Mercury dime is worth $1.75 to $2. The “W” refers to the coin’s designer, Adolph A. Weinman.

          Best,
          Josh

  3. Hi, I have a 1916 Mercury Dime. It is a little worn But i believe i can see a D for the mark.
    Will the coin either display and S or a D no matter what? Or if it’s not a D..?
    Will you see the S by default or nothing? Thank You Scott – Hou, tx

    1. Scott, 1916 Mercury dimes were made at Philadelphia and Denver. Before 1980 most Philadelphia coins didn’t carry a mint mark so your dime could either have a D or be what’s called a “plain” coin.

      If the mint mark’s indistinct you should have your coin inspected by an experienced dealer or appraiser who can examine it more closely. Here’s hoping you have that “D”!

        1. Hi, Christina —

          The mintmark is on the lower-left back of the coin by the rim. However, if you’ve looked there and still don’t see it, your 1916 Philly Mercury dime is worth about $3-5 in well-worn circulated grades.

          Best wishes,
          Josh

          1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d33d9620ac9b44510fcad3a4e5611b0b618813aff2bc5dcf154c8d53a0e64fed.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/55a185e29090d4fa2ca75a5684bb29893861bde87ae5d7b97598e5571579c238.jpg

          2. Hi Christina,

            Even though it’s very worn that’s one heck of a find – more than a hundred years old! The mint (rather than “mont”) mark position for all Mercury dimes is to the immediate right of the “E” in ONE. It’s a bit tough to tell because the pictures are kinda small, but it looks like there isn’t a letter there. That means your dime was struck by the Philadelphia mint, which didn’t use the modern “P” mint mark back then.

            FWIW #1: I confess to a big goof in my answer to Scott. 1916 Mercury dimes were made at all three mints that were active at the time. In addition to a blank for Philadelphia and D for Denver, the third possibility is an S for the San Francisco mint.

            FWIW #2: The little “W” on the front of the coin isn’t a mint mark; it’s the monogram of the coin’s designer A. A. Weinman.

          3. Well, it may not be super rare but I’d say it’s still something special as a keepsake or conversation starter. After all, how often do you find a coin that’s over 100 years old?

            It’s also interesting historically. It’s from the first year that Mercury dimes were made. That was also a year before the US entered WWI. Think of all the history that’s gone by since then. Who knows who might have carried your coin over those decades … maybe an immigrant making their way into American society or even someone on their way to fight in WWI or maybe WWII. Perhaps it was one of the hundreds of millions of dimes donated to the March of Dimes. Heck, even if it spent most of its existence stuck in a drawer, you can still use it as a jumping-off point for some great discussions.

          4. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f22217065a6ec463ea533b16895e90f6b19b413e2b27fc4682b24eb6779b90f.jpg

          5. Hi, Christina —

            From the get-go these are worth at least $15-18 apiece, but they could be worth even more if the pre-1921 Morgan dollars have certain mintmarks on them. You’ll find the mintmark on the back of the coin just below the little bow at the base of the ribbon of the wreath and above the “DO” of “DOLLAR.” Please list the date and mintmark of each coin and I can help you further on values.

            Thank you!
            Josh

          6. Hi, Christina —

            Here are approximate values for your coins:

            *1880 — $20-25
            *1885 — $20-25
            *1889-O — $22-28
            *1891-O — $25-30
            *1921 — $16-18

            Best wishes,
            Josh

          7. Hi, Christina —

            That’s an incredible find! Your 1916 Mercury dime has a lot of honest wear but no apparent damage and is a really beautiful circulated piece. From the financial standpoint it’s worth about $3, but as far as finding such a piece in circulation, that’s extremely rare these days.

            Congrats!
            Josh

    1. I just read that if its copper one sold for 40,000 dollars. It seems that during the war they stopped using copper but accidentally a production of 1943 were made with copper and circulated.

      1. That is correct, Windy. Some 1943 cents were made with a copper/brass planchet and circulated by accident before being discovered in pocket change. These are worth around $75,000 to $100,000 and up!

    1. Hello, Sabbir —

      Your 1955-D Lincoln cent is worth approximately 3-5 cents.

      Best,
      Josh

    1. Congrats on your first wheat cent, Sabbir! I still have mine and hope you keep yours, too. Your 1976-D Bicentennial quarter is worth face value if worn, but it’s still a great coin to own.

  4. I recently came across a 1935 S Mercury dime. The “S” mint mark looks filled in and looks like a blob, what kind of error is this and how much could it be worth? I am having difficulty posting the pic here so inbox me and I’ll send the pic. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Ian —

      Without seeing a photo of the coin, it might be a die chip; these types of coins are worth an extra $2 to $5 in value in many cases for collectors who focus on such anomalies. Your coin is likely worth somewhere in the $3.50 to $7 range. Again, though, without a photo I can’t say for certain.

      Thanks for your question!
      Josh

      1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/67b88f77eae79346869bbbfdee3ddb501e56551be10428e13d0388bbecbf1236.jpg

    1. Hi, Stephanie —

      1934 and 1934-D Mercury dimes are worth about $2.50 given the current silver value.

      Thanks for your question!
      Josh

    1. Hi, Stephanie —

      A worn 1945 Washington quarter is worth around $3.50 to $4 given present silver bullion values.

      Best,
      Josh

    1. Hi, Aaron —

      Your coin was gold plated outside of the U.S. Mint. A novelty piece like this is worth around $2.50.

      Best,
      Josh

  5. Hi Joshua I found a Mercury dime 1942 and it has a D in back of it. I would like to No how much is the coin worth.

    1. Hi, Richard —

      Your 1942-D Mercury dime is worth around $3 given current silver values.

      Best,
      Josh

  6. Hi Joshua, I would like to know the value of this 999 Fine Silver One Ounce coin, there is no date on it. Thank you very much !

    1. Hi, Willis —

      All silver rounds like this are worth whatever the spot price of silver is. In this case, as of today, this silver round is worth about $14.50.

      Best,
      Josh

    1. Hello, Jenny —

      Your 1941 and 1944 Mercury dimes have a value of about $2.25 each given current silver values.

      Best,
      Josh

    1. I’m so glad you asked, Jenny. The answer is a resounding yes. All are worth at least 3 to 4 cents each, and many, many pieces are worth far more.

      Here’s a post I think you’ll be very interested in reading: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/valuable-pennies/

    1. That’s still a nice coin, Harley! It’s worth around $3. At a century old, your 1916 Mercury dime is technically considered an antique.

  7. Damn i have a 1935 D & 1937 D & 1945 D & 1941 D & 1944 D & 1943 something i cant make it out on the side of it but do i have good ones? Lol i think so

    1. Hi, Jeff —

      A 1920 Lincoln wheat cent is worth 10 to 25 cents in average circulated condition.

      Best,
      Josh

    1. Hi, Lance —

      A nicely circulated 1930-S Mercury dime such as your is worth about $3.

      Best,
      Josh

      1. I don’t think he would be selling it for only 3 bucks, I wouldn’t, I’d hold on to it, you never know when the market rates will change.

  8. i have a mercury head dime,looks like it says 1942,but the last number is a bit worn,is there any way to be sure it is a 1942?

    1. Hi, Andrew!

      Feel free to post a photo of your 1942(?) dime, and I’ll help if I can.

      Best,
      Josh

  9. I have 1931-S dime. In good condition. I think maybe its not so common? Do you know if its value is anymore than the dime minted in Philadelphia?

    1. Hello, Ali!

      A 1931-S Mercury dime is what we might call a “better date” piece — one that isn’t necessarily the most common but not necessarily rare, either. Your piece is worth $3 to $5 in well-worn condition.

      Thank you for your question!
      Josh

  10. Wow, i remember getting the occasional Mercury dime in change in the early 60’s. Most of these of course were the common dates from the 40’s but every once in a while you got something earlier and if really lucky, it was in decent, aka not worn to a ‘slug’ condition. My mother got me into coin collecting when i was about 7 years old. i won’t say when that was but at that time decent collectible coins could be found from pocket change and going through bank rolls. And when they took the silver out of the coins in 1965, , everyone suddenly became a ‘coin collector’. I never gave up coin collecting, although I have taken breaks from it but over the years it’s gotten almost impossible to find anything decent in change or bank rolls.. In order to keep up with the hobby and find collectible coins you go to coin shows. Usually there were a couple of hundred dealers from all over the place with literally everything and it was fun browsing and if you had a want list, you made copies of it and handed them out to dealers dealing in your collecting area. i recall they were advertised in the local Sunday newspaper These were fun but for some reason, you rarely see these shows anymore.

    1. Hi, Edwin —

      What coin is it? Unfortunately I don’t see an image attached to your comment and am unable to assist without a photo of your coin and/or further information.

      Thank you,
      Josh

    1. Hi, Rachel —

      A typical, worn 1943 Mercury dime is worth approximately $2 to $3.

      Thank you for reaching out,
      Josh

    1. Hi, Rachel —

      While I don’t evaluate entire coin collections here I’d be happy to help with a few. Please send me a list here of 3 to 5 coins that you’d like to know more about value wise and I’ll give you my educated opinion based on the info/photos provided.

      Thanks,
      Josh

      1. 1943 P nickel, 1952 canada 1 cent of Georgivs v1 de Gratia Rex, 2002 2 euros, 1979 blob s liberty dollar coin im tring to post the piks

        1. Hello, Rachel —

          Here are approximate values for the coins you listed:

          * 1943-P nickel — $1 to $1.25 in worn condition
          * 1952 Canada penny — 7 to 15 cents in worn condition
          * 2002 2 Euro — Not sure which European nation this is from (none specified in the post), but many circulated 2002 2 Euros are worth 4 to $10
          * 1979-S Susan B. Anthony dollar — Face value if worn, $1.25 to $2 in uncirculated, $4 to $7 in proof (for Type I Blob S)

          Hope this helps!
          Josh

  11. i have american ,mexican, canadian ,queen elizabeth, philipins , japan, euros and some that dont say from where

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