pattern 1916 Winged Liberty Head dime is one of the highlights of
Bonhams’ June 2 auction in Los Angeles.
first glance the design reveals few differences from the circulation
strikes. Indeed, it’s this similarity of the pattern piece to regular
issue 1916 Winged Liberty Head dimes (or Mercury dimes, as the design
is frequently called) that likely allowed this example to circulate
for years before being spotted by a sharp-eyed collector.
is graded Proof 25 by Professional Coin Grading Service and carries a
green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker indicating quality within the grade.
piece is certified as Proof since patterns of this era were originally
struck as Proofs, distinguished from business strikes intended for
circulation. A pattern coin might lose its original Proof surfaces,
but does not lose its Proof designation even when well-worn, as is the
pattern is numbered Judd 1983 in United States Pattern Coins,
Experimental & Trial Pieces by J. Hewitt Judd, edited by Q.
between the pattern and the regular issue shows multiple differences.
Most obvious are pellets between the words IN GOD and WE TRUST on the
obverse of the pattern and the absence of designer Adolph A. Weinman’s
initials to the right of Liberty’s neck.
notes, “For future identification, a tiny lateral mark is near the
midpoint of Liberty’s neck, a thin vertical scratch is near the top of
firm characterizes the coin as “exceedingly rare” and provides an
estimate of $42,000 to $45,000.