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1916-D Mercury Dime, MS66+
Spectacularly Toned, Seven Finer at PCGS
Full Bands Definition

1916-D 10C MS66+ Full Bands PCGS. CAC. This is a spectacular Full Bands MS66+ example of everybody's favorite Mercury dime issue, the 1916-D. Note that this piece is currently the only MS66+ PCGS example, and it is also depicted on PCGS CoinFacts for another (equally stunning) view.

PCGS has seen 20 submissions in MS66 grade (undoubtedly not all different coins) with seven numerically finer (3/13). This coin has obviously been preserved since the day some eager collector plucked it from a roll or (early) circulation, and it has acquired deep, lavish album toning over the decades.

The obverse shows mint and cobalt-blue competing for territory against pinkish-gray fields with deep maroon accents, and yet generous luster manages to penetrate all. The reverse shows various shades from the pink-to-purple palette, and the strike on all bands, indeed the whole coin, is simply impeccable.

In Augustus Saint-Gaudens' role of teacher and role model, he influenced a generation of numismatic sculptor-artists who succeeded him, even if he tragically did not survive the ravages of cancer long enough to see any of his own coinage designs in general circulation -- much less those of his students. Among them was the German-born Adolph Weinman, who emigrated to the United States in 1890 at age 10. Weinman's coin designs would grace two denominations introduced in 1916, the Winged Liberty or "Mercury" dime and the Walking Liberty half. Saint-Gaudens took Weinman under his wing early, offering him a position as artist at his Cornish, New Hampshire, home, and helping him to obtain commissions for various sculptural and medallic works.

Cornelius Vermeule writes in Numismatic Art in America that "the dime of 1916 takes its place as the first individual and imaginative design for this small denomination in American numismatic art." The first-year 1916 issues are always popular, the 1916 Philadelphia as a type coin available in high grade, and the 1916-D as the low-mintage (and low-survival) key to the set.

The small mintage of 264,000 pieces made the 1916-D a rarity virtually from the day of its issue. Mint State examples are especially rare, but any 1916-D dime is in tremendous demand in any grade, from Fair 2 to the highest Mint State grades. The strike is so high-quality, though, that most Mint State survivors feature fully struck cross bands on the reverse, a percentage that David Hall estimates to be around 80%.

This important key-date Mercury dime is sure to incite furious bidding before and at the auction block.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 23GY, PCGS# 4907)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
April, 2013
24th-28th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,100

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