By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for Coinweek …..
After months of anticipation, coin collectors can finally zero in on April 21 as the first day they can buy the 2016 Mercury dime gold commemorative coin – the first of three 2016 gold coins to honor the centennial anniversary of classic silver Liberty coin designs by Adolph A. Weinman and Hermon A. MacNeil. The gold Mercury dime features a faithful reproduction of the famous Winged Liberty or “Mercury” Head design that graced U.S. dimes from 1916 through 1945. The 2016 coin will be minted in 0.999-fine gold, contain one-tenth ounce of 24-karat gold, and measure 17.9 millimeters in diameter.
There are several details about the coin that the United States Mint has not yet produced, including mintage figures and available finishes. However, two pieces of information have the coin world buzzing: the fact that the 2016 Mercury dime is being sold individually, and its West Point mintmark.
Perhaps the more welcome piece of news is the coin’s individual availability, meaning collectors won’t have to spend potentially thousands of dollars to obtain examples of these 2016 gold coins in a three-piece set. The announcement of the West Point mintmark, meanwhile, may come as a disappointment to those collectors who were hoping the 2016 Mercury dime gold coin would be struck at the Denver Mint – a symbolic nod to the popular 1916-D Mercury dime key date.
Of course, there are still several questions yet to be answered, including if there in fact will also be a 2016-D Mercury gold dime. If so, in what finishes will the new Mercury dimes be available? Proof? Uncirculated? Burnished? Another format?
In a CoinWeek article from January, numismatic expert Maurice Rosen expressed concern about the 2016 Liberty centennial commemorative gold coin series potentially encompassing various types because it “could cause further confusion in the marketplace and make it harder for collectors to afford buying the various coins.” The details of this matter, again, are something the coin community will presumably have a better grasp on as spring rolls around and release dates for the 2016 Standing Liberty quarter and 2016 Walking Liberty half dollar gold coins are also announced.
At any rate, April will be a busy month for the order fulfillment department at the Mint; in addition to the 2016 Mercury dime gold coin, the U.S. Mint will release the following coins and products:
- 2016 Clad Proof Set – April 1
- 2016 Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter Rolls and Bags – April 4
- 2016 Gerald Ford One Dollar Cover – April 5
- 2016 American Gold Eagle-One Ounce Uncirculated Coin – April 7
- 2016 Gerald Ford 2016 Presidential One Dollar Coin & First Spouse Medal Set – April 8
- 2016 Silver Proof Set – April 18
As always, CoinWeek will provide more information on these and other U.S. Mint releases as details become available. We will also offer updates on any other forthcoming information from the United States Mint concerning the product specifications of the 2016 gold Mercury dime as soon as they are announced.
The 2016-W Pure Gold Mercury Dime will be struck in uncirculated finish, have a weight of 1/10 troy oz., a diameter of 16.5 millimeters and a thickness of 1.19 millimeters. These are the same specifications as the 2008-W Buffalo Gold 1/10 troy oz.uncirculated $5 coin. For comparison, the 1916 Mercury Dime had a diameter of 17.9 mm, a thickness of 1.35 mm and a weight of 2.5 grams of 90% silver.
I am disappointed that the US Mint is choosing to not use the same dimensions 17.9 mm diameter, 1.35 mm thickness as the original dime. The quarter and the fifty cent piece will also be smaller than the original coins. I will be purchasing these coins, but I do wish they were the same size as the original coins.