US Coins

Extensive U.S. dime research included in new Mega Red

Mega Red: The Guide Book of United States Coins, Deluxe 4th Edition, is enhanced with 294 pages covering 845 varieties of U.S. dimes, with 15 new appendices on different aspects of the coins. The 1,504-page book is now available in stores and online, retailing for $49.95.

Whitman Publishing numismatic director and the book’s senior editor, Q. David Bowers, wrote the expanded feature and contributed to the related appendices.

“United States dimes are extremely popular among collectors, offering areas of specialization to accommodate almost any budget and level of interest,” he said. 

The John Reich Collectors Society focuses on early U.S. silver and gold coins and was a useful resource for compiling information included on pre-1838 dimes. “Back issues of their John Reich Journal are a goldmine of information and can make everyone an expert,” Bowers said.

Whitman Publishing provided a synopsis of what readers can expect in each section.

More than 50 pages are dedicated to Draped Bust (1796-1807) and Capped Bust (1809-1837) dimes. This includes nearly 300 photographs; mintages; commentary on the market, collecting tips, physical characteristics, and other notes specific to each coin; certified population data; and values in grades from About Good to multiple levels of Mint State. Bowers also provides grading instructions, history and background on each coin type, biographies of their designers and engravers, and guides to collecting.

Liberty Seated dimes (1837-1891) are similarly detailed and illustrated via 457 photographs. Bowers offers guidance on smart buying and collecting, and shares insight and research from the Liberty Seated Collectors Club and other specialists.

Barber dimes (1892-1916) are also covered in full detail: collecting, grading, history, surviving populations, Mint State, and Proof formats, die varieties, hub changes, strike sharpness, and other factors relevant to collectors. Certification data and retail price charts show the market for coins from Good 4 up to Mint State 65, plus Proofs at multiple levels. 

Topics covered for Winged Liberty Head, or “Mercury,” dimes (1916-1945) include a discussion of the change in design — patterns, release and distribution, and the public’s perceptions. His coverage of strike characteristics, Proof Mercury dimes, grading standards (including for Full Band details), retail prices in 12 grades, population data, die varieties, marketplace factors, and other details gives collectors plenty to study. 

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The history of the dime that was developed to honor President Franklin Roosevelt and information about its production, hub changes over the years, tips for collecting, and grading standards are also included. Bowers’ coin-by-coin study covers silver Roosevelt dimes of 1946-1964, including Proofs, plus the mysterious 1964 Special Mint Set coins. He discusses 1965-1967 SMS coins, and popular die varieties listed in the Cherrypickers’ Guide. Copper-nickel and silver Roosevelt dimes of 1965 to date are explored in charts and photographs of each. 

The Mega Red’s appendices cover a range of topics, including: dimes in popular culture; extraordinary error and misstruck dimes; pattern dimes and proposals that never became official coins; counterstamped dimes; dime scrip issued by banks, merchants, and towns; “paper dimes” from the U.S. Treasury Department; Civil War sutlers’ “dime” tokens; Civil War 10-cent store cards, and dimes used as planchets for silver Civil War tokens; dimes recently discovered in the purser’s safe of the shipwreck SS Central America; the history of the famous 1894-S dime; a snapshot of the dime market in the 1940s; irradiated dimes; and an illustrated essay on the greatest U.S. dimes.

For more information, visit the publisher’s website:

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