The Mercury dime is a ten-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from late 1916 to 1945. Designed by Adolph Weinman and also referred to as the Winged Liberty Head dime, it gained its common name because the obverse depiction of a young Liberty, identifiable by her winged Phrygian cap, was confused with Mercury. The coin’s reverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace.
About Mercury dime in brief
The Mercury dime is a ten-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from late 1916 to 1945. Designed by Adolph Weinman and also referred to as the Winged Liberty Head dime, it gained its common name because the obverse depiction of a young Liberty, identifiable by her winged Phrygian cap, was confused with the Roman god Mercury. The coin’s reverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace. The Mercury dime was minted again but in gold for its centenary in 2016. The Barber coinage had been introduced in 1892; similar dimes, quarter dollars, and half dollars, all designed by Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber. The introduction had followed a design competition to replace the Seated Liberty coinage, which had been struck since the 1830s. The new coin’s design was admired for its beauty, but the Mint made modifications to it upon learning that vending machine manufacturers were having difficulties making the new dime work in their devices. The Coin continued to be minted until 1945, when the Treasury ordered that a new design, featuring recently deceased president Franklin Roosevelt, take its place. In 1916, Mint officials were under the misapprehension that the designs had to be changed, and held a competition among three sculptors, in which Barber, who had been in his position for 36 years, also took part. The Mint had offered only a small prize to the winner, and all invited artists refused to submit entries.
In 1915, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury William P. Malburn sent McAdoo a memorandum about the present silver coinage. In April 1915, Mint Superintendent Robert W. Woolley took office as Director of the Mint. On April 14, he asked for a change in the design of the silver half dollar, therefore, the new design may be adopted in 1916, and a new dime, quarter, and dime were adopted in 18 92. In June 1916, the Mint Director Edward Leech responded to the request by directing Barber to prepare new designs for the dime, Quarter, and Half dollar. In July 1916, Barber prepared new designs. In September 1916, a new coinage was introduced, and it attracted considerable public dissatisfaction. In March 1917, the mint director asked the secretary of the treasury to approve the design for the half dollar and quarter. In November 1917, a design was approved for the nickel and the half and quarter eagle. In February 1918, the dime and quarter dollar were adopted. In May 1918, a coin was struck for the 50-cent, 25-cent and 10-cent values. In December 1918, it was struck again for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Mint, and the new coin was introduced. In January 1919, a redesign of the half-dollar and the quarter dollar was approved. In August 1919, the half dime was approved and the dime was struck. In October 1921, the quarter and half dollar were struck.