First segment of cover feature published in its entirety in the Feb. 1, 2016, Monthly issue of Coin World:
The Winged Liberty Head dime, also known as the Mercury dime, is turning 100 and to celebrate the occasion, the United States Mint will strike and issue a 2016 .9999 tenth-ounce gold re-creation of the coin, one of sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s most recognizable, enduring works.
The gold dimes, struck without Mint mark, are to be produced on the same diameter planchets used to produce American Eagle tenth-ounce gold bullion coins at the West Point Mint.
The Mint has authority to issue gold coins of certain kinds, so no approval was needed other than that from the Treasury Department.
Some numismatists have suggested that the Mint issue a 2016 anniversary piece in .900 fine silver to make the issue more affordable and available to more collectors. So far, U.S. Mint officials have not heeded that advice, however, as doing so would apparently require congressional approval.
The Winged Liberty Head dime series is extremely popular with many collectors; some of them began in the hobby by retrieving examples from general circulation more than 50 years ago, filling slots in blue Whitman coin folders by date and Mint mark.
Struck between 1916 and 1945, with no production recorded during the years 1922, 1932 and 1933, the Winged Liberty Head dime series contains no definitive rarities as collecting obstacles.
Even the 1916-D dime from the series’ inaugural year, with the lowest mintage of 264,000 pieces, is readily available, although, depending on condition, the price can be high.
The prime concern with a 1916-D dime is authenticity. A buyer must ensure that the coin being purchased is genuine, not a counterfeit or altered piece.
The 1921 Winged Liberty Head dime from the Philadelphia Mint, with a mintage of 1.23 million coins, and the 1921-D dime from the Denver Mint, with a recorded output of 1.08 million coins, carry higher premiums as well.