Dimes have been produced by the US Mint for some time now, and all varieties of these ten-cent pieces are of importance to collectors. The type of Dime that is slowly but surely rising in popularity amongst collectors is the Mercury Dime, which was first minted not too long after the turn of the 20th century. For collectors, early editions like the Mercury Dime from 1916 are especially popular because they are the coins that are the most difficult to find.
For collectors, finding a rare piece isn’t enough, it is often preferred that the piece is in excellent condition. Unfortunately, because these coins are so old they are not always able to be found in pristine condition.
When it comes to coins as old as the 1916 Mercury Dime, the first thing collectors concern themselves with is the condition of the coin. These pieces of currency were especially useful to US citizens at the time of their production, so it goes without saying that they incurred a lot of damage throughout the years. Because of the broad spectrum of damage that these coins could have been subjected to, it makes sense that collectors pay very close attention to the condition of the coin.
When it comes to officially judging the condition of a coin, this is a process known as grading. Normally, grading is performed by a professional company that utilizes the opinion of experts, but the specifications below can give you a good idea of what certain graded Dimes will look like.
Uncirculated: An Uncirculated 1916 Mercury Dime will appear to be in nearly perfect condition. These coins were not circulated at all, and because of this did not incur any damage that is typically found on coins so old. Having been very well-preserved through the years, it is very easy to see why collectors jump at the opportunity to get a 1916 edition in such great shape.
Extremely Fine: If a coin is receiving of an Extremely Fine grade, it means that they were circulated for nothing more than a very short period of time. During their light circulation, these coins will have incurred some damage, but it will be mostly light in nature. In fact, the damage can most often only be seen under extremely close inspection.
Fine: A 1916 Mercury Dime that is given this grade is one that was circulated for a moderate amount of time. Though these coins were definitely exchanging hands for multiple years, they were able to avoid most major damage during that time. Though some of the imagery and inscriptions will have begun to fade, the coin appears to be in decent shape for how old it is.
Good: If the coin you have is graded to be Good, it will be in pretty rough shape. All in all, the coin will be host to a lot of damage including scratching, chipping, and many other blemishes.
For coins that are as old as the 1916 Mercury Dime, one of the biggest determinants of price is the condition the coin is in. Most of these pieces have suffered some heavy damage, so that is why collectors will inspect their condition closely. The chart below is aimed at giving you a better idea of what you might pay for a 1916 Mercury Dime given its grade. Because multiple editions of the Dime were minted every year, the exact type of Dime you have will also affect the price.
|1916 Mercury Dime||$4||$7||$15||$25|
|1916 Mercury Dime (D)||$1,000||$2,600||$6,000||$9,000|
|1916 Mercury Dime (S)||$4||$9||$20||$25||Source: Red Book|