US Coins

MS-66 1919-D dime with full strike sells for $156,000

Adolph A. Weinman’s Winged Liberty Head dime is better known to collectors as the “Mercury” dime. In Roman mythology, Mercury is the god of commerce, shopkeepers and merchants, among other things. 

Weinman intended his wings on Liberty’s cap to represent free thinking, and his dime remains popular with collectors more than a century after its introduction in 1916. Examples were struck until 1945. 

The 1916-D Winged Liberty Head dime is the series key with a low mintage of 264,000 pieces, but surprisingly, some later Denver Mint issues are even rarer in top grades.

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Heritage’s January Florida United Numismatists auction featured the Charles McNutt Collection, including one of the all-time top five Registry Sets for Mercury dimes. His 1916-D dime graded Mint State 66 full bands by Professional Coin Grading Service brought $45,600.

Three lots later, his 1919-D dime, also graded PCGS MS-66 full bands, and carrying a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker, sold for a whopping $156,000. Most 1919-D dimes are poorly struck, and in top grades with a full strike, the issue is a rarity in the series, with PCGS grading just five in this grade, none finer.

Heritage observes, “One microscopic tick at the corner of Liberty’s mouth is a barely perceptible pedigree marker that differentiates this piece from the other finest-graded 1919-D Mercury dimes.” That did not stop bidders from pursuing it well beyond the $115,000 it brought when it previously crossed the action block at Heritage’s 2010 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money auction. 

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