Mercury Dime errors and key dates

Mercury Dime Erros & Key Dates

Welcome to the enthralling world of Mercury Dime Errors & Key Dates, where every coin tells a story of historical significance, human error, and unimaginable value. If you’ve ever been captivated by the allure of coin collecting, this is one article you can’t afford to miss. From the elusive 1916-D Mercury Dime to the intriguing 1942/1 overdate error, we’re about to embark on a numismatic journey that could turn your pocket change into a treasure trove. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a curious beginner, this comprehensive guide will arm you with the knowledge you need to identify these rare gems. And if you think this is fascinating, wait until you explore our comprehensive list of Most Valuable Dimes. The clock is ticking, and these coins are not getting any less rare. So let’s dive in and uncover the secrets behind the most valuable Mercury Dime errors and key dates!

1916 D Mercury Dime obverse
1916 D Mercury Dime reverse

Valuable Mercury Dime Key Dates.

1. 1916-D Mercury Dime

The 1916-D Mercury Dime is often considered the holy grail for collectors of this series. Minted in the first year of the Mercury Dime’s production, it holds a special place not just for its inaugural status but also for its extreme rarity. With a mintage of only 264,000 pieces, it’s the lowest in the entire series. Recent auction prices have been staggering, with a 1916-D Mercury Dime graded PCGS MS 67 fetching as much as $195,000 in 2019.

2. 1921 Mercury Dime

The 1921 Mercury Dime is another Mercury Dime key date that has captured the attention of collectors. With a low mintage, this coin is in high demand, especially in higher grades. Its scarcity has made it a prime target for investors in rare coins, and it holds significant investment potential. A well-preserved 1921 Mercury Dime can command high prices in auctions and private sales alike.

3. 1921-D Mercury Dime

The 1921-D Mercury Dime is a key date that is highly sought after, particularly in high grades. Struck at the Denver mint, this coin had a relatively low mintage, making it scarce and valuable. Collectors looking to acquire this piece should consider having it authenticated and graded, as its value can significantly increase if it’s in superb condition.

4. 1919-D Mercury Dime

The 1919-D Mercury Dime is a standout for its rarity in high grades, especially those with “full bands” on the reverse. Full bands indicate that the horizontal bands on the fasces are fully separated and distinct, a feature that requires a strong strike and good preservation. A 1919-D Mercury Dime graded PCGS MS 66 with full bands sold for an astounding $218,000 in 2019.

5. 1918-S Mercury Dime

The 1918-S Mercury Dime is a semi-key date that is also scarce in high grades. Minted at the San Francisco facility, this coin had fewer counterparts compared to other mints in 1918. Many of these coins were poorly struck and have seen significant wear, making high-grade examples exceedingly rare. Recent market trends show that well-preserved 1918-S Mercury Dimes can fetch up to $144,000 in auctions.

6. 1935-S Mercury Dime

While the 1935-S Mercury Dime may be a common date, its rarity in superb condition with full bands makes it a Mercury Dime key date in its own right. The San Francisco mint struck over 15 million Mercury dimes in 1935, but most were weakly struck and heavily circulated. A 1935-S Mercury Dime graded PCGS MS 68 with full bands sold for $90,000 in 2019.

7. 1920-S Mercury Dime

The 1920-S Mercury Dime is another common date that becomes a key date when found in superb condition. Over 13 million were minted in San Francisco, but most were poorly struck and circulated heavily. Recent market trends indicate that a well-preserved 1920-S Mercury Dime can command high prices, especially if it has full bands.

8. 1925-S Mercury Dime

Similar to the 1920-S, the 1925-S Mercury Dime is a common date but becomes a key date in superb condition. Over 5 million were minted, but most were poorly struck and heavily circulated. A 1925-S Mercury Dime graded PCGS MS 67 with full bands sold for $66,000 in 2019.

9. 1926-D Mercury Dime

The 1926-D Mercury Dime is another example of a common date that becomes a key date in superb condition. Over 6 million were minted in Denver, but most were poorly struck and heavily circulated. Recent market trends indicate that a well-preserved 1926-D Mercury Dime can command high prices in auctions.

Valuable Mercury Dime Errors

1. 1942/1 Mercury Dime (Overdate)

19421 Mercury Dime Overdate

The 1942/1 Mercury Dime is a fascinating piece that showcases an overdate error, a phenomenon where a die with the date 1941 was overpunched with a 1942 date. This resulted in a visible “1” under the “2,” creating a unique and highly sought-after coin. This valuable Mercury Dime error is more distinct and scarce for the Philadelphia mint than the Denver mint. In terms of its rarity and auction prices, a 1942/1 Mercury Dime graded PCGS MS 66 sold for an eye-popping $120,000 in 2019. This coin is a must-have for any serious collector and serves as a testament to the intriguing world of numismatic errors.

2. 1945-S Mercury Dime Micro S Error

Another valuable Mercury Dime error that has intrigued collectors is the 1945-S Mercury Dime with a Micro S error. This error occurs when a small “S” mint mark is used instead of the normal size “S” for the San Francisco mint. The micro S is much smaller and thinner than the regular S, making it easily overlooked but incredibly valuable once identified. Recognizing this error requires a keen eye and perhaps a magnifying glass to spot the diminutive “S.” In terms of its value, a 1945-S Mercury Dime with a Micro S, graded PCGS MS 67+, sold for a staggering $96,000 in 2019.


In conclusion, the world of Mercury Dime errors and key dates is a captivating realm that combines history, artistry, and the thrill of the hunt. From the ultra-rare 1916-D Mercury Dime to the fascinating 1942/1 overdate error, each coin offers a unique story and an opportunity for significant financial gain. These aren’t just pieces of metal; they’re slices of history, artifacts of human ingenuity, and tickets to a rewarding and potentially lucrative hobby.

If you’ve found this guide enlightening, imagine the joy and excitement you’ll experience as you delve deeper into the world of coin collecting. It’s not just about the monetary value; it’s about the journey of discovery, the stories behind each coin, and the community of like-minded individuals you’ll meet along the way. So why wait? Grab a magnifying glass, start exploring, and who knows—you might just stumble upon the next big find that will make you not just richer in your pocket, but richer in knowledge and experience as well. Happy collecting!


What is the error on the Mercury Dime?

The most notable error on the Mercury Dime is the 1942/1 overdate error. This occurs when a die with the date 1941 is overpunched with a 1942 date, resulting in a visible “1” under the “2.” This error is particularly rare and valuable, especially for coins minted at the Philadelphia mint. It’s a must-have for any serious collector and a fascinating example of human error creating something extraordinarily valuable.

Are there any errors on dimes?

Yes, there are various errors on dimes, not just limited to Mercury Dimes. Errors can range from overdates, repunched mint marks, to double dies and more. These errors often make the coin significantly more valuable to collectors. Always keep an eye out for any inconsistencies or peculiarities when examining dimes, as you might just stumble upon a rare and valuable error coin.

What Mercury dimes are most valuable?

The most valuable Mercury Dimes are generally those with key dates or errors. Some of the key dates include the 1916-D, 1921, and 1921-D Mercury Dimes. These are highly sought after due to their low mintage numbers and historical significance. In terms of errors, the 1942/1 overdate error and the 1945-S Micro S error are among the most valuable. These coins have fetched prices upwards of $90,000 to $120,000 in auctions, especially when graded highly by reputable services.

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