The fascination with all of the events that were happening during World War II will never cease; after all, those were some of the most testing times and years in the history of humankind. That is why people seek after even the tiniest things that have somehow played a role in these years, and for a good reason. For example, we’ve been extremely interested in the coinage system and production during these times; sure enough, there were some huge changes introduced by the U.S. Mints and the Treasury.

As a result, we’ve decided to cover the essential regarding some of the most interesting coins out there; the 1943 Mercury dime. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, we’re going to tackle the origin and history, as well as the current market analysis and value of the 1943 Mercury dime. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

The 1943 Mercury Dime: How Much Is it Worth?

The 1943 Mercury Dime How Much Is it Worth

1943 Mercury dime
Face value Ten cents ($0.10)
Shape Round
Compound Silver coin with 0.900 silver and 0.100 copper
Coin thickness 0.05315 inches (1.35 mm)
Coin diameter 0.70512 inches (17.91 mm)
Coin weight 0.08038 troy ounces (2.5 g)
Silver content 0.07234 troy ounces (2.25 g)
Edge Reeded with 118 reeds
Mintage numbers 324,059,000

The History and Origin of 1943 Dime

The inception of the Mercury dime can be traced back to 1890, when the United States Congress approved the Secretary of Treasury to introduce, prepare and adopt new coinage, including new designs and denominations. However, those should not be replaced more often than twenty-five years from the year of the design adoption. 

Two years later, dimes, quarter dollars, and half dollars were designed by the Mint Chief Engraver, Charles E. Barber. But, the public was highly dissatisfied, since the presented designs didn’t really do much justice to the idea created around these new coins. Many U.S. Presidents have attempted to introduce new, modern, and beautiful designs to the United States coins, which would later be late to the creation of the Mercury dime.

In 1916, the treasury Department organized a design competition, with the hope to replace the old coin designs (the Barber dimes from 1892). The winner of the competition was Adolph A. Weinman, whose designs featured a young Lady Liberty, but the public was yet again dissatisfied since Lady Liberty looked pretty similar to the Roman god Mercury. Because of this, the coin became known as the Mercury dime (while its initial name of reference was The Winged Liberty Head dime).

However, public dissatisfaction grew, even after millions of dimes were struck around the country. One of the reasons was the fact that the coins were completely incompatible with vending machines. During the War, many changes have been introduced, and after the death of President F.D. Roosevelt, the U.S. Mint decided it is high time the Mercury dime is replaced. And that is how, in 1945, the Roosevelt Dime was introduced.

The Coin Design

The winner of the design competition, Adolph A. Weinman, was responsible for the design and appearance of the Mercury dime. Though it has never been confirmed, Weinman did disclose the name of the person that has inspired him to create the new coin designs; his neighbor Elsie Stevens. Nevertheless, this was never confirmed, and no one really claimed it was her on the coin. Even Weinman started claiming it was another person he used for inspiration (a wife of a lawyer who lived above his Manhattan apartment). With this interesting story in mind, let’s take a close look at the coin;

  • The obverse of the 1943 Mercury dime

The obverse of the 1943 Mercury dime

The central figure on the Mercury dime is the so-called Lady Liberty, facing left. The Lady Liberty was supposed to represent the Liberty of thought, however, the wings on the Phrygian cap resembled the Roman god Mercury. The Mercury dime is basically a nickname for the coin, based on this little confusion in the design. The obverse of the coin further features inscriptions Liberty, the motto In God We Trust, as well as the Date, struck on the right. There’s also the designer’s initials, of course.

  • The reverse of the 1943 Mercury dime

The reverse of the 1943 Mercury dime

The reverse of the dime features a central image, which is a torch and an axe. These are meant to symbolize war efforts, strength, resilience, and independence. There are also olive branches, which are meant to counter the war-related interpretation, with the meaning of peace and prosperity. There are also several inscriptions, like the name of the country, as well as the denomination (United States of America, One Dime). Dimes printed in the Philadelphia Mint don’t have a mintmark, while the dimes printed in the Denver and San Francisco Mint feature D and S mint marks (placed left of the olive branch). The right half of the reverse of the dime features the Latin saying, E Pluribus Unum (meaning, one of many).

The 1943 Mercury Dime Market Value and Price

There are several interesting notions about the 1943 Mercury dime that affects its current market demand and value. The very first one is the notion of rarity. The 1943 Mercury dime reached nearly 200 million specimens struck in Philadelphia alone, which would deem it a common coin.

However, because of the dime’s silver composition, it is believed that the majority of the dimes were recovered, melted, and reused/repurposed. With this in mind, the notion of rarity isn’t that hard to believe. Moreover, because of such a high mintage, the number of dies required was also really high. This begs the question as to why more of these dimes haven’t been double-died. 

And one final thing; as you may know, dimes, and coins in general, that were minted in Philadelphia, have the lowest value. These were also circulating coins that show heavy wear-and-tear signs. Coins minted in the Denver mint are slightly more valuable (and have a ‘D’ mint mark), but the most valuable are those minted in the San Francisco mint (and have an ‘S’ mint mark). With all of the information in mind, let’s take a look at the current market value of the 1943 Mercury dime;

Regular Strike (Uncirculated, Circulated, Graded)

According to the NGC Price Guide, a Mercury Dime from 1943 in the circulated condition is worth between $2.50 and $4 (June 2023). However, on the open market, 1943 Dimes in pristine, uncirculated condition sell for as much as $425.

When it comes to the graded 1943 Mercury dime, the worth varies between $48 for a grade MS 65+, $55 for a grade MS 66, and $65 for a grade MS 66. The auction record for a graded 1943 Mercury dime is $900, for a grade MS 66, reached in 2022.

Here’s a more detailed insight into the current market value and prices of the 1943 Mercury dime (according to the mint origin of the dime);

1943 Mercury dime value
Condition 1943 dime 1943 D dime 1943 S dime
Good $2 $2.5 $2.5
Very good $2.5 $3 $3
Fine $3 $3.15 $3.25
Very fine $3.25 $3.35 $3.45
Extra fine $3.35 $3.45 $3.50
MS 60 $6.5 to $7 $6.5 to $7 $6.5 to $7
MS 61 $7.5 to $8 $7.5 to $8 $7.5 to $8
MS 62 $8.5 to $10.5 $8.5 to $10.5 $8.5 to $10.5
MS 63 $11 to $16.5 $11 to $16.5 $11 to $16.5
MS 64 $17 to $29.5 $19 to $29.5 $19 to $29.5
MS 65 $30 to $39.5 $35 to $39.5 $35 to $39.5
MS 66 $40 to $74.5 $50 to $114 $50 to $114
MS 67 $75 $115 to $420 $115 to $420
MS 68 / / $425 to $900

Error Strike

Errors in the minting process are a normal occurrence. As millions of coins are being struck, errors are bound to happen, resulting in dimes missing coating, for example, being clipped, the design being improperly positioned, etc. Despite the errors, these dimes and error coins, in general, are highly sought-after and can be extremely valuable. Depending on the actual error, the value can vary, as you’ll see in the following explanation;

  • Broad-Struck error – such errors occur when a coin is minted without the use of a collar, which is meant to determine the diameter of the coin. One broad-struck 1943 Mercury dime was sold at an auction for $120.

1943 Mercury Dime Value - Broad-Struck error

  • Repunched Mint Mark error – such errors occur when the mint mark is accidentally repunched onto the coin, leaving several imprints of the mint mark. One such 1943 error Mercury dime can be worth up to $100.

Auction Records

According to Professional Coin Grading Services, the value of the 1943 Mercury Dime can very well reach the 5-digit prices on the current market. If you’re in possession of pristine specimen of the 1943 Mercury dime, you’re definitely one of the blessed collectors, as you’ll see by these auction records;

  • This 1943 10C MS 68 Mercury Dime was sold for $19,550.
  • This 1943-D PCGS MS 68+ was sold for $14,687,50.

1943-D PCGS MS 68 - Auction Records

  • This 1943-S/S 10C MS 67+ Repunched Mintmark specimen was sold for $2,820.
  • This 1943-S 10C MS 68 Full Bands specimen was sold for $16,800.

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Final Thoughts

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Now you’ve learned everything essential there is to learn about the iconic 1943 Mercury dime. Hopefully, this brief journey was fun and informative. For more information about the 1943 Mercury dime, we recommend you check professional coin/bill grading services and their informative blog posts as well as active or closed auctions. This can help you understand how the value of a bill changes over time, and what can you expect regarding the market climate. We wish you the best of luck and happy collecting!

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