1931-S Mercury Dime

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Mercury Dime


The Mercury Dime is one of the most popular ten-cent denominations and a favorite among coin collectors. Also known as the Winged Liberty Head Dime, the Mercury Dime was designed by Adolph A. Weinman. The Mercury Dime replaced the Barber Dime in 1916 and continued to be produced until 1945, when the U.S. Treasury ordered a new design to honor Franklin D. Roosevelt after his death on April 12th of that year. 

Generally, the design was well-liked by the public, although many vending machine manufacturers had issues getting the coin to work in their machines, which caused some modifications to be made. The obverse of the Mercury Dime depicts a young Lady Liberty, facing left and wearing a winged cap. It was intended to symbolize freedom of thought. The inscriptions read “LIBERTY” wrapped along the top rim, “IN GOD WE TRUST” to the left of Lady Liberty, and the minting date below her neck. At the time, many people confused young Liberty to be Mercury, the Roman god of trade, which created the Mercury Dime name. 

The reverse of the coin has an olive branch and a Roman fasces, which is a bundle of wooden rods and an axe bound together. The fasces symbolizes unity and strength and the olive branch symbolizes peace. The inscriptions read “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” wrapped along the top rim, “ONE DIME” wrapped along the bottom rim, and Latin phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM” to the right of the fasces. 

Mercury Dimes were minted in three different cities — Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. While there was no mint mark for Philadelphia Mercury Dimes, “D” represented the Denver Mint and “S” represented the San Francisco Mint. There are seventy-seven different date and mint mark combinations with over 2.6 billion coins produced across all issues of the series. Some of the most sought after are 1916-D, 1921, and 1921-D. In addition, the Mercury Dime series contained two overdate coins, 1942/1 and 1942/1-D, which had two dates — 1942 impressed on top of 1941.


Weight: 2.5 grams
Composition: 90% Silver (0.007234 troy oz), 10% Copper
Diameter: 17.9 mm
Edge: 118 reeds
Mints: Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver