Adolph A. Weinman, a prominent sculptor of his time, was the creative mind behind this remarkable coin. Weinman’s artistic genius is evident in the design of the Mercury Dime, which was introduced as part of an effort to replace the outdated Barber Dime design. The coin features an obverse design that portrays a young Liberty wearing a winged cap, a feature that is commonly mistaken as the Roman god Mercury due to its striking resemblance. Liberty’s profile is presented in a three-quarter view, facing left, with the word “LIBERTY” inscribed gracefully above her and the year of minting displayed with dignity below.
The reverse side of the coin showcases a fasces, a bundle of rods with an axe, symbolizing unity and strength. Alongside this powerful emblem of unity, an olive branch is depicted, denoting peace—a stark contrast to the turbulent times in which the Mercury Dime was minted. These intricate details and the symbolism they carry contribute to the coin’s allure.
The Mercury Dime was minted in three different mints across the United States: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. Each mint marked its coins with a unique mintmark—”P” for Philadelphia, “D” for Denver, and “S” for San Francisco. These mintmarks can be found on the reverse side, positioned just below the fasces. The presence of these mintmarks adds an extra layer of interest for collectors, as they can seek to complete sets from each mint.
In terms of physical characteristics, the Mercury Dime has a diameter of 17.9 mm, which gives it a small yet elegant presence. The composition of the coin is 90% silver and 10% copper, a blend that speaks to the tradition of American silver coinage. The coin’s weight is a modest 2.5 grams, making it one of the lighter coins in circulation during its time.