By Ben Orooji, Numismatist & Cataloger – Stack’s Bowers …..
No other Mercury dime enjoys the popularity of the 1916-D, a date that is sought in all grades from barely identifiable AG-3 to Gem. Only 264,000 examples of the date were struck at the Denver Mint in 1916. Philadelphia and San Francisco produced Barber dimes as well in 1916, but not Denver, where the presses only turned out the Mercury design. For essentially as long as this coin has been known it has enjoyed a special cachet among collectors. Everyone who has an interest in the Mercury dime series dreams of acquiring an example for completeness and many are the collections in which a low to mid-grade example fills the slot (if it is filled at all).
To find a handsome example in the uppermost circulated grades, as here, is not an everyday occurrence, as bidding for this lot will undoubtedly show.
The 1916-D Mercury dime shares an unusual set of circumstances with the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter. Both are first-year releases with low mintages, and both are difficult to find in Mint State. This is odd, because typically first year issues are hoarded as curiosities by numismatists and casual collectors alike. The Barber issues of the same year are easily located in Mint State, but for whatever reason, these two new designs were simply not saved in any quantity at the time of issue. Thankfully, the present specimen was pulled from circulation after spending only a brief time fulfilling its intended purpose.
Essentially untoned, this sharply struck example shows full separation in the central bands of the fasces on the reverse and retains much of its original luster. There are no significant abrasions, and the overall eye appeal is strong. When the average example encountered is typically well worn, viewing an example with all devices plainly visible is a real treat. With added pressure from collectors competing in the PCGS Everyman Registry Sets, we expect stiff competition when this premium example crosses the block so be prepared!
View this and the other offerings in the November Collectors Choice Online Auction. There are many quality collector coins as well as highlights like a stellar MCMVII High Relief, Wire Rim, CAC-approved Saint-Gaudens double eagle and a MS-63 FH 1916 Standing Liberty quarter. Take a peek, you will not be disappointed!