Designer: Adolph Alexander Weinman
Diameter: 17.9 millimeters
Metal content: Silver - 90% Copper - 10%
Weight: 2.50 grams Edge: Reeded
In 1916, a new Dime design was introduced to replace the old
Barber design that had been in use since 1892. Designed by A.A. Weinman,
the new design featured a portrait of Liberty facing left, wearing a winged cap.
Because of the resemblance to the Roman god, Mercury, the coin became known
popularly as the "Mercury Head" Dime. The reverse blends a Roman
fasces (ax surrounded by a tied bundle of sticks) and an olive branch,
indicating America's military readiness but also their desire for peace.
The Mercury Head Dime series is one of the most popular in all of American
numismatics. Apart from the 1916-D and 1942 overdates, most dates are
obtained with little difficulty. However, several of the dates are
extremely rare in high grade. The most desirable issues are those with
Full Split Bands on the reverse, which means all of the bands that hold the
fasces together on the reverse must be clearly and completely separated.
While much attention is focused on the central bands, the bands on the ends of
the fasces must be separated, as well. Again, many dates are extremely
rare in Gem condition with Full Split Bands.
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