2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin Images and Mintage Unveiled

by Mike Unser on April 7, 2016 · 52 comments

The United States Mint today published images of the 2016-W Mercury Dime Centennial 1/10 Ounce Gold Coin. The agency also unveiled the coin’s mintage of 125,000 and its household ordering limit of 10 coins.

2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin, Presentation Case

2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin and Packaging

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the silver 1916 Mercury dime and featuring Adolph A. Weinman’s original Winged Liberty design, the centennial 24-karat gold coin will launch at noon Eastern Time on April 21.

Later in the year, the U.S. Mint will also release centennial editions of the Standing Liberty quarter and the Walking Liberty half-dollar. (See mock-ups of these gold coins.)

Obverses of the centennial 2016 Mercury dime offer a portrait of Liberty facing left, wearing a winged cap, with the inscriptions LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, 2016 and AW for Weinman’s initials.

2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin, Obverse and Reverse

Obverse and reverse sides of coin

Reverses feature a Roman fasces and an olive branch, symbolizing America’s military readiness and desire for peace. Inscriptions around the design include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, AU 24K, 1/10 oz., ONE DIME, and W to denote its production at the U.S. Mint facility in West Point, New York.

Its one-tenth ounce weight is symbolic of the coin’s denomination of one dime. The U.S. Mint emulated other specifications of the original dime, like the business or circulation strike finish, but exact matches were impossible because of the gold piece’s 99.99% fineness. Here’s a table comparing specifications between the original dime and the centennial dime:

  1916 Mercury Dime 2016 Centennial Mercury Gold Dime
Composition 90% silver and 10% copper 99.99% Gold
Weight 0.07234 troy oz. (2.50 grams) 0.1000 troy oz. (3.110 grams)
Diameter 17.9 mm (0.705 inch) 16.50 mm (0.650 inch)
Thickness 1.35 mm (0.053 inch) 1.19 mm (0.047 inch)
Edge Reeded Reeded

 

In 2008, the U.S. Mint struck fractional sizes of American Buffalo gold coins in collector qualities of proof and uncirculated. Specifications of the gold Mercury dime match those of the smallest 2008-W $5 American Buffalo Gold Coins. In another comparison, they have the same diameter but are a tad thinner (0.047 inches vs. 0.049 inches) and lighter (3.110 grams vs. 3.393 grams) than the one-tenth ounce American Gold Eagles.

Each coin ships encapsulated and hand packaged in a custom-designed, black-matte hardwood presentation case and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. They will be sold on the U.S. Mint’s website, right here.

A pricing matrix for the 2016 centennial gold coins should soon be published. The prices can change weekly depending on the market value of gold.

There will be no silver editions of the 100-year-old coins. The U.S. Mint has the authority to produce collector gold coins but is limited by law when it comes to striking silver coins.

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Seth Riesling
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Seth Riesling

Very high mintage! A reasonable household limit. But a beautiful gold coin! Nice hardwood presentation box too. The Mint should know better than to call this a “Mercury dime” on the offical COA, as it is NOT the Roman God Mercury, it is Lady Liberty wearing a winged cap. The official name by Weinman & the Mint in 1916 was & is the correct numismatic term, of course, the Winged Liberty Head dime.

-NumisDudeTX

Richard Zeunges
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Richard Zeunges

Is there going to be a three coin set?

Springer
Guest
Springer

To many coins! (125,000) If you cut that number in half it would make the coin interesting. The Mint is doing the same with these coins as with the Kennedy coins. Just wonder how long these will languish on the Mints sales web page. Good idea, but the Mint is a little greedy with mintage amounts and does nothing for the long term appreciation value of the coin for the collector. Hope they are more realistic with the rest of the anniversary coins, especially the 30th anniversary Silver Eagles. Since these are collector coins the Mint first priority should be collector value.

Seth Riesling
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Seth Riesling

Springer –

Amen! I had expected a 50,000-75,000 mintage on this “special” centennial coin. They should sell well though since they will be “cheap” due to small size (only 1/10 oz. gold.) Also they are just regular business strike Uncirculated coins & not a special finish or Proof so it cost the Mint less to produce.
Flippers will be disappointed!

-NumisDudeTX

Joe C.
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Joe C.

What’s with the angled date? It looks out of place with the motto. Shouldn’t the date be horizontal also? Just wondering.

Ernesto
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Ernesto

The mintage is a bit high but so is the household limit. I expected 5 at the most. Well hopefully with the the 125k mintage the website won’t crash and not let me put in an order.

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Joe C. –

The original 1916 dime design date was angled a bit due to the small size of the coin & the date being so close to the rim, they had to do that to make sure they struck up right. It does look a bit strange on a gold coin versus a silver coin maybe due to our eyes adjusting for overall color.

-NumisDudeTX

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Joe C. –

I forgot to add that the date had to be angled a little bit more on these because of the very soft, malleable 24k gold so that the date wouldn’t get to close to the rim.

-NumisDudeTX

Christopher Williams
Guest
Christopher Williams

Great input and comments guys!!!

I’m mainly an autograph guy, but have always loved coins.

I am leaning a lot here thanks you all of you here.

Christopher Williams
Guest
Christopher Williams

In my last comment I meant to write “Learning a lot here.”

Typo.

Joe#2
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Joe#2

I think it’s an AWESOME piece, And should sell out quickly…

Good job us mint…

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Joe #2 & CoinNews readers 2 11;

I agree, beautiful coin as I posted earlier. Kudos to the U.S. Mint on this one!

Anyone want to guess what the issue price will be? As of today it has $12 3 worth of gold in it. It is a regular Unc coin, no special finish, so I guess (or hope) it will be in the $2 25 or lower range. The 2 016 Proof AGE 1/10 oz. gold coin is about $175 now. Any guesses or comments on issue price?

-NumisDudeTX

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Christopher Williams –

Is that a Mike Mezack eBay posting?! LOL. How much are they asking for them?

(I will tell you my “Lady Bird” Johnson autograph story sometime if interested)

Happy collecting Mr. Williams!

-NumisDudeTX

Christopher Williams
Guest
Christopher Williams

@Seth-

The link in my comment shows the all of the Ebay sellers listing their Presale on the coin.

Would love to read your “Lady Bird” Johnson story.

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Christopher Williams – Those are some high coin prices on ebay “Pre-sale”! “Lady Bird” Johnson used to eat at my favorite small Mexican restaurant when I was a student at UT – Austin. The LBJ ranch & her wildflowers research center are nearby. She would show up with her 2 Secret Service agents & would eat in a private banquet room but would always stop to talk to people eating there & I asked her once why people didn’t call her by her real name “Claudia” & she said “Young man, you can’t fight a nickname in the Great State of Texas, you know!” We both laughed & I told her I had the large & small size bronze version medals sold by the U.S. Mint of her Congressional Gold Medal & this was pre-internet days & I had received an official bound copy of the Public Law granting her… Read more »

Christopher Williams
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Christopher Williams

@Seth-

I love that story!!! Thank you for sharing it.

Joe#2
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Joe#2

Very cool Seth… Thanks for sharing pal.

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

24-karat gold plated Winged Liberty Head dimes are already being sold online & on tv. What a shame! This is not only the first gold dime in U.S. Mint history, but the first to use the periodic table of elements symbol for gold “Au” & the first coin to use “24k” as the fineness.

-NumisDudeTX

Joe
Guest
Joe

The gradeing companys will have a good time looking for ( full split bands ) on the fasces on the reverse.

Alex
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Alex

I’m sure there will still be lots of “flippers” getting these graded and making a killing for at least a few months. These are sure to be popular.

Richard Romero
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Richard Romero

Beautiful coin indeed! The “Mercury Dime” is what got me into collecting coins. I hope I am able to buy 1 or 2 of these before they sellout on the 21st! Cant wait!!!

joera
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joera

The gold looks good but silver would have been nice!

jim
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jim

Yeah, Congress really blew it when they didn’t authorize a silver version of the three coins – a real disappointment.

I could do without the special packaging, too. Take $20-$30 off the cost of the coin and give it to me in a plain box. It’s the coin I’m intersted in.

Stuart
Guest
Stuart

This is dating me back to at least mid 1960s during the LBJ-Eva Adams era, I remember getting only silver dimes, quarters and halves in circulation (no clads) which included pre 1965 Roosevelts, Mercuries, Washingtons, Standing Liberties, Walking Liberties, Franklins and Kennedys to say nothing of WWII era nickels and Buffalo nickels. But I never did find an Indian Cent in change after all that; was not born until after 1950. I remember my father coming home one night with a worn 1889 Morgan Dollar; that makes up for not finding the Indian Cent. Incidentally, the 2016-W Winged Liberty tenth ounce Gold Eagle planchet is merely a copy of the original 1916 dime. “AU 24K 1/10 oz” translates to “Copy”

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

The Mint finished striking these gold coins on March 21 after almost a month of production using gold planchets from a private Mint in Attleboro, Massachusetts. They struck each planchet twice but not on polished planchets & not with polished dies making them just regular business strike Uncirculated coins with no special finish that will grade as Mint State (MS) by the grading services. Each die pair lasted approximately 1,900 coin strikes. That means a lot of dies had to be produced to strike them all, adding a lot to the cost of production. It will be interesting to see the premium over spot gold the Mint will price these gold coins at compared to its other gold coin products.

-NumisDudeTX

Whistler
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Whistler

No doubt a proof versio of all 3 in a set @ end of year, price for “Mercury” AU prediction @ $225….the mint needs @ least 2x melt

Dustyroads
Guest
Dustyroads

NumisDudeTX, Where did you find the information posted above about having all the coins struck as of March 21?

Vachon
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Vachon

Like with the gold Buffalo, I don’t know why the gold purity information can’t be incused into the edge of the coin so as not to interfere with the original design.

Also, why not just make these annually instead of the GAEs and Gold Buffalos now with all the same designs in different sizes. .999 fine gold in a 1/8 tr.oz. Mercury $2½; a 1/4 tr.oz. Buffalo $5; a 1/2 tr.oz. Standing Liberty $10; and a 1 tr.oz. $20 Saint-Gauden with original reverse and edge lettering (and restore the Walking Liberty reverse on the SAE). Could even do a 1/20 tr.oz. $1 with one of the three gold dollar designs. (Redenominating them for 2017 and afterward would help preserve the uniqueness of this year’s issue)

If the Mint’s gonna go after collector dollars, why not compel them to get up to five gold coins a year?

chuck swick
Guest
chuck swick

How do companies get the 2016 gold Mercury dime before it is issued on April 21st? I am not a regular coin collector but am interested in this coin –thanks for answering a novice question.

Larry
Guest
Larry

There has never been a proof Standing Liberty Quarter. When I first heard about these coins, I was excited that finally the mint would produce a proof SLB quarter. That would have been a special coin. But it is not to be. Sigh.

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Dustyroads –

CoinsWeekly.de of Germany (my second language) did an article on this & found out the production info.

-NumisDudeTX

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

chuck swick –

No one can order Mint products till first day of issue at noon Eastern time (not even Mint employees). The ones you see advertised are on a “Pre-sale” basis (they do not have them on stock, of course, but hope you order from them as a scam.

Good luck! Happy collecting Chuck.

-NumisDudeTX

Louis
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Louis

Seth- I don’t see any such article in Coins Weekly and find it strange that they would be the only ones with this info. Can you provide a link please?

Louis
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Louis

There is a Coin World article out today about the 1900 coins per die, but no mention about lack of polishing.

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Louis –

CoinWeek & Coin World (April 7) did articles on this. The coins were struck from Feb 23 through March 21 on regular gold planchets since these are not Proofs the planchets are not polished like they are for Proof coins. The dies therefore are not polished for Proof strikings since these are just regular Uncirculated business strikes according to the Mint’s previous statement. The same was true of the high relief American Liberty gold $100 coins – regular business strike Uncirculated coins.

-NumisDudeTX

Louis
Guest
Louis

Thanks, Seth.

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Louis –

You are welcome Sir. I really like this gold coin & plan on buying 1 for myself & 2 for my older nephews, but the mintage is a bit high. But it will be affordable for most collectors. There seems to be no real consensus if they will sell out quickly on coin blogs comments. Do you think they will sell out quickly Louis?

Happy collecting!

-NumisDudeTX

Dustyroads
Guest
Dustyroads

Seth, I think the general consensuses is that 125,000 is too high. I can see some buying the max x whatever, but I also see a lot of returns if there’s not a surprise sellout.
The one strong incentive this coin comes with is it being a one off. That may be enough to get it over the hump, but at what cost….it becoming bullion?

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Dustyroads –

Thanks for responding. I think you are right about the dealers/flippers who buy the max of 10 or more through family, friends etc. They will return the problem coins & maybe others if there is not a quick sellout & we all have 7 days from receiving the coins to return them. It will be interesting on April 21 to say the least. Just 3 days after income taxes are due this year!

Happy collecting!

-NumisDudeTX

Dustyroads
Guest
Dustyroads

Seth, I know you were asking Louis to respond, so I apologize. Let me add one more point before I stop, I think every buyer would have to buy multiples for there to be a sellout. And even then I have a hard time seeing every buyer buy more than 2 or 3 coins. Thanks, Rio Grand Valley TX

Seth Riesling
Guest
Seth Riesling

Dustyroads –

I think you have it right on target, fellow Texan!

-NumisDudeTX

JesustheLionofJudah
Guest
JesustheLionofJudah

Mintage SHOULD be 50,000 to 60,000 max. 125,000 is ridiculous for any gold coin. The only thing it’s got going for it is being one tenth. The other 2 best be 50K, or they will tank like the Kennedy disaster. The Mint owes us collectors a GOOD sellout on these coins after destroying the viability of the Kennedy series AND the HR golds

Springer
Guest
Springer

With the mintage set at 125,000 hopefully the price will be reasonable. With the proof gold eagle going for $175 how much more could the Mint ask? We have about 10 days to go, so would be nice to see a price on these soon. At $175 and they sold all that would be almost $22 million, at $200 selling all equals $25 million in sales. If they want good sales on these they will have to keep the price close to the proof gold eagles.

Carlos Gamez
Guest
Carlos Gamez

I wonder if you get it early (day or two) if it could possibly be PL or SP.?

Richard Romero
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Richard Romero

One more day for a price!!!

Mike Holzworth
Guest
Mike Holzworth

Sold out in less then an hour

joera
Guest
joera

I AM SOCKED IT SOLD OUT SO QUICK! I guess we can never really understand or know the market of coin collecting. I’m just glad I decided to get one when I did. I was going to wait till after lunch and order on my laptop. But while at TACO BELL I decided to use my cell phone and get it over with and order it. I guess Mike “SOLD OUT LIMITED EDITION, EXCLUSIVE TO US ONLY” Mezack and other flippers paid a lot of people to order the 10 coin limit. Ebay prices are going to be crazy for this 1/10 oz. gold coin.

Christopher Williams
Guest
Christopher Williams

I was able to purchase a few of these and left one in my “Bag.”

So I wait a few hours (a few minutes ago) and attempted to “Check Out” to buy it and it reads “Unavailable, Remove From Bag.”

So, is it really “Sold Out?”

Joe C.
Guest
Joe C.

I believe this coin WILL be sold out quickly. It doesn’t take too many orders of “ten” to equal 125,000. After about 5 tries at checkout, I was able to complete my order. Good luck to all on this one. I feel fortunate to be in the 100 year time frame. This won’t come around very often. Looking forward to the quarter and the half.

Jeremy Nelson
Guest
Jeremy Nelson

I bought just (1) 2016 Mercury Dime at around 12:04 PM on the April 21. Can’t believe it will go up much in the next few years. I wish they minted it in silver and proof versions. I found the only Mercury silver dime ever in my life in my change at a Safeway grocery store about 9 months ago. I’m told children spend change they find and it must be true. It was a worn common date.

jim
Guest
jim

Somebody’s collection must have gotten raided. There’s no way a mercury dime could’ve been floating around for that long.

I did hear a long time ago that some foreign countries (like Cuba for example) still used old US coins because that’s all they have. So maybe some more silver coins will actually start showing up.