Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mercury Dime (1916 - 1945)

1919 Mercury Dime
Although this type of dime is commonly called Mercury Dime, it is also known as the Winged Liberty Head dime because of its obverse depicting a representation of Liberty with wings crowing her cap. The wings symbolize liberty of thought. However, the Mercury Head dime resembles a lot the Roman god Mercury and this is where its name comes from. Issued around the time of USA's impending entry into WWI, the Mercury dime carries a lot of symbols in its design. Still influenced by the Roman culture, the designer A.A. Weinman placed an ax covered by sticks tied together with rods, on the reverse. According to the "Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins," the ax or "fasces" represented the expression "the power of life and death." In ancient Roman law this expression meant having the power to kill mercifully by the blade or mercilessly by the rods. Weinman's symbolic message was aimed towards the enemies of liberty and was also describing the country's military preparedness. An olive branch was placed around the ax symbolizing the country's willingness of peace. The designer's initials AW are placed to the right of Liberty's neck.


The Mercury Head Dime variety is one of the most popular among coin collectors. Besides the key dates and overdates, most dates can be obtained without much difficulty. However, the most popular dimes are those with Full Split Bands on the reverse, which means all of the bands that hold together the sticks on the ax must be visible and completely separated. Also, many dates are very rare in Gem condition with Full Split Bands. 


The Executive Coin Company is one of the top coin dealers in United States who offers a variety of Mercury Head Dimes in different grades and condition. Our selection includes high grade and certified Mercury dimes as well as key dates such as the 1916-D dime and the 1921-P dime. We also offer Mercury dimes with Full Split Bands and also the popular 1942/1 and 1942/1 D overdates. All dimes we offer are expertly photographed with great care and accuracy to help you make the best choice for your collection!