1916-D Winged Liberty Head dime, AU-55, CAC, brings $9,487.50 at Scotsman

Portion of Market Analysis column from Nov. 10, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Coin World
Published : 10/25/14
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Scotsman Auction Co.’s Oct. 17, 2014, Collectors’ Auction in St. Charles, Mo., brought just over $1 million, realizing $1,115,119. The firm’s auctions, including the latest, are notable for the wide range of material that is offered, from complete sets of Liberty Head 5-cent pieces to pieces of scarce paper currency.

Three key coins offered in the auction in the About Uncirculated grade show the differences of quality within that grade, which is typically segregated into the AU-50, AU-53, AU-55 and AU-58 grade levels. The latter is often referred to in shorthand as “borderline Uncirculated.”

Here is one of those coins that graded About Uncirculated:

A 1916-D Winged Liberty Head dime is a classic 20th century key coin from the first year of issue of the widely popular “Mercury” design. The issue saw heavy circulation, and the most typically encountered example is About Good 3 to Good 4. Somewhat surprising, especially considering that people tend to save coins in their first year of issuance at the time of issue, is that it is rare in grades above Extremely Fine.

This Professional Coin Grading Service AU-55 example has a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker, indicating quality within the grade. Scotsman notes that the strike is bold, resulting in nearly fully split bands on the reverse (although also noting several contact marks on the bands). On the surfaces, the firm reports, “Coruscating luster still revolves around the fields despite the light circulation, but struggles slightly with the strictly vintage pewter-grey patina endowed over the entire surface.”

The dime brought $9,487.50, a price that is comparable to what AU-58 pieces have sold for at auction over the past few years.

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