Fourth segment of cover feature published in its entirety in the Feb. 1, 2016, Monthly issue of Coin World:
How the Winged Liberty Head dime has fascinated collectors since its inception is quite a journey.
1916 was a busy year for the United States Mint.
The year witnessed the introduction of not one, not two, but three coins bearing newly designed obverses and reverses. The Winged Liberty Head dime and Walking Liberty half dollar, designed by the hands and creative mind of sculptor Adolph A. Weinman, and the Standing Liberty quarter dollar, executed by sculptor Hermon A. MacNeil, represent the first separation in designs for each the those three circulating U.S. coin denominations. (Earlier, the three denominations shared the same obverse designs and, sometimes, the same reverses.)
The results of Weinman’s efforts, specifically for the Winged Liberty Head dime, were overwhelmingly embraced by Mint and Treasury Department officials, collectors and other members of the public.
Read the rest of this feature on the Winged Liberty Head dime's 100th anniversary:
Mint Director Robert W. Woolley detailed the dime’s designs in the 1916 Annual Report of the Director of the Mint.
“The design of the dime, owing to the smallness of the coin, has been held quite simple,” Woolley wrote. “The obverse shows a head of Liberty with winged cap. The head is firm and simple in form, the profile forceful.
“The reverse shows a design of the bundle of rods, with battle-ax, known as ‘Fasces,’ and symbolical of unity wherein lies the Nation’s strength. Surrounding the fasces is a full-foliaged branch of olive, symbolical of peace.
In Numismatic Art in America: Aesthetics of the United States Coinage, author Cornelius Vermeule labeled Weinman’s Winged Liberty Head dime as “the first individual and imaginative design for this small denomination in American numismatic art.”