I completely agree that great designs alone do not make for great coins. However, the Mercury dime‘s unique beauty certainly helps it overcome the current preference for larger silver coins like silver dollars. This series is fascinating. Well, folks, there’s a date that we all know like the back of our hands, and that’s the 1916-D. There were only 264,000 pieces minted. Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about Mercury dimes. They have classic overdates, such as 1942/41, made in Philadelphia and Denver. This makes an already interesting overdate even more fascinating.
You need more than a key date and an overdate to have a great collection. The Mercury dime set has that with the semi-key 1921 and 1921-D, both of which had mintages of just over 1 million. Additionally, the Mercury Dime showcases several less popular but superior dates, such as the 1931-S. In 1931, we were in dire economic straits as a nation. The Great Depression was taking hold, and money was scarce, as seen in the Mercury dime production.
So, in 1931, they only made a little over 3 million Mercury dimes in Philadelphia. That’s less than what they made in 1930 and way less than in 1929. In 1931, the production of Mercury dimes at Denver was only 1,260,000. I must say that San Francisco wasn’t much higher. They finished the year at 1,800,000 pieces.
It’s interesting to note that the production in San Francisco could have been higher. However, a directive from the Bureau of the Mint to the San Francisco facility stopped dime production towards the end of the year. Well, you see, San Francisco had only managed to produce 194,000 nickels because they were instructed to focus their efforts on nickel production.
Well, what happened to those 1931-S dimes is quite another matter. They certainly didn’t save them in large numbers. Folks didn’t have enough money to save small change, let alone keep ten-cent coins in excellent condition. This was one of our nation’s most dreadful economic periods. The demand for coins has decreased significantly.
As you may know, there was no production of dimes at any of the three facilities in either 1932 or 1933, which is why it is apparent in the Mercury Dime. Well, that strongly suggests that nobody was hoarding or saving dimes. Over the years, folks, the 1931-S Mercury hasn’t caught anyone’s eye.
The mintage of 1.8 million pieces is definitely on the lower side, but let me tell you, it’s not even close to being as low as the 1916-D. It’s not in the same league as the 1942/1 overdates from Philadelphia and Denver or even the 1921 and 1921-D. That low 1931-D mintage has even overshadowed it in some respects.
I suggest we take another look at the 1931-S. The story of the 1931-S is indeed quite fascinating. The 1931-S cent has an interesting numismatic relative. Furthermore, one should not take lightly that there are 1.8 million pieces in circulation. Well folks, let me tell you that the 1931-D is the only circulation Mercury dime with a lower mintage since 1931.
We also have to consider its survival rate. Did you know that the entire mintage of the 1931-S dime is lower than the average proof set sales we witness today? But you see, the 1931-S was not like the modern proofs. It was released to the public when people were in dire need of coins and could not save them. Well, folks, we’ve got some mighty fine 1931-S Mercury dimes here, but I reckon there aren’t too many around.