The thousands of 2016-W Winged Liberty Head gold
dimes that were made available Thursday afternoon were completely
bought up within 90 minutes or so of going on sale.
The United States Mint website currently lists the item as “Sold Out.”
“This item is no longer in stock and is no longer available for
sale,” is how the website explains the “Sold Out” status.
So it might finally be safe to say the “Mercury” gold dime saga is over.
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As many as 8,000 to 9,000 unsold 2016-W Winged Liberty Head gold
dimes had been languishing in the U.S. Mint’s inventory for almost
The unsold coins were returns from individuals who originally
ordered and received them as well as product never shipped because
orders could not be processed due to expired credit cards or other
obstacles, after the first sales period ended with a proclamation that
the coins were sold out on April 21.
The unsold coins, which Coin World first learned about in
April, went on sale at 12 p.m. ET Thursday, Dec. 15, at $200 per
coin. Coin World currently does not know the exact time the
sellout was reached, but based on collector feedback, the Round Two
sales window lasted about 90 minutes before reaching the sold out stage.
The Mint did not state the number of coins it made available
Thursday. However, as of the Mint’s Dec. 4 sales report, 116,096 of
the dime's maximum mintage of 125,000 coins were recorded sold.
That would leave nearly 9,000 coins for the Dec. 15 offering.
Orders were limited to one coin per household for this second round
of sales. U.S. Mint officials did indeed anticipate a sellout within
minutes of the Thursday release, similar to what occurred when they
initially went on sale in April.
When the gold dimes were offered April 21, sufficient orders were
placed to exhaust the maximum mintage in a matter of minutes. The
household limit then was 10 coins, a number collectors said was much
too high and catered to dealers rather than collectors.
The gold dimes are struck on planchets matching the Mint’s
specifications for .9999 fine tenth-ounce gold blanks used for the
American Buffalo fractional gold $5 coin, last produced in 2008.
Why did the U.S. Mint issue a gold Winged Liberty Head dime?
The 2016-W Winged Liberty Head gold dime is one of three special
commemorative gold coins issued in 2016 to celebrate the 100th
anniversary of three classic U.S. coins that were first struck in
1916: the Winged Liberty Head dime, the Standing Liberty quarter
dollar, and the Walking Liberty half dollar.
The dime and half dollar were designed by Adolph A. Weinman, while
the quarter’s designs were the work of Hermon A. MacNeil.
Read Coin World's historical features on all three coins:
Liberty Head dime celebrates 100th anniversary milestone
: The Winged Liberty Head dime series is extremely popular with
collectors, many of whome began in the hobby by retrieving examples
from general circulation.
Standing Liberty quarter dollar celebrates centennial
: Hermon MacNeil's designs for the 25-cent coin, which would be
called the Standing Liberty quarter dollar, are arguably the most
beautiful for the denomination in its long history.
Weinman’s masterpiece: 100 years of the Walking
Liberty half dollar
: In a time of war abroad, economic disruption at home and discord
at the United States Mint, the Walking Liberty half dollar, which
marks its centennial this year, was conceived.
The 2016 gold coins were issued in order from smallest denomination
As mentioned above, the gold dime was issued in April, the gold quarter was issued in September, and the gold half dollar was issued in November.
Are there unsold gold quarters and half dollars?
The Mint has potentially higher inventories of
Standing Liberty gold quarter dollars (from a maximum mintage of
100,000 pieces) and Walking Liberty gold half dollars (from a maximum
mintage of 70,000 pieces); neither program is sold out yet.
Those two coins had tighter initial order limits placed on
them — one per customer for the gold quarter, and three for the
gold half dollar — than the gold Winged Liberty Head coin had during
its initial release.
Order limits on both the quarter and half dollar were lifted when coins remained
after the initial sales rush with the coins’ release, and both coins
remain on sale.
The phenomenon of sales almost immediately hitting the maximum
mintage did not happen with the quarter dollar and half dollar as it
did with the dime partly because of the sales limits, and partly
because the two larger gold coins are more expensive, beyond the reach
of many of the collectors who could have hoped to purchase the dime.
Undamaged returns or canceled orders on these products, since they
are not sold out, simply return to the remaining inventory on sale,