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1945 Mercury Dime Value: 4 Varieties & Error List

The 1945 dime was the last in the Mercury Dime series minted from 1916. In those years, the 10-cent coin still had decent purchasing value for the general public.

If you want to know the value of the 1945 dime today, you must befriend numismatics and coin collectors. They’ll tell you the 1945 dime value is $2.73-$25.00 in average circulated condition and $7.49-$615 in uncirculated grades. The price varies on the mint location.

However, if the 1945 dime has the most precious feature of mercury dimes, the Full Bands (FB), it has an average value of $1,450-$19,750, which can increase enormously to the current record price of $96,000.

Before you get excited about finding a 1945 mercury dime with Full Bands, you must know it’s not easy to find.

You’ll also be interested in the historical details surrounding the coin’s minting, including why it is called the Mercury Dime or the Winged Liberty Silver Dime. Let’s start right there!

1945 Mercury Silver Dime History

1945 Dime

When Adolph A. Weinman designed Lady Liberty with a winged cap on the 1916 dime, he never intended to make Americans confuse her for the Roman god Mercury. He simply wanted to give an original esthetic look to the well-known Lady Liberty.

That aside, Weinman did manage to create a coin design well appreciated by the public.

Similarly, by authorizing the coin’s design and minting, President Woodrow Wilson and the then Treasury Secretary William G. McAdoo impressed a somewhat divided public. The President’s election was a narrow win, and his decisions on the American-German war were not what everyone expected.

Because the President and the Treasury Secretary had a kingship bond, McAdoo had an upper hand in convincing his father-in-law that it was time to honor the 25-year coin redesign regulation for the 10-cent coin.

Once Weinman’s design received a go-ahead tick, production started in the fall of 1916 and was complete by October when it went into circulation. Weinman’s design stayed on the dime till 1945, our year of interest for this post.

Why is It Called a Mercury Dime?

The metal composition of the 1945 dime is 90% silver and 10% copper. If we are speaking metal, this doesn’t make it a mercury dime. Besides, toxic mercury isn’t among the metals used for U.S. coinage.

So, why do they call it the mercury dime?

For Americans using the coin and numismatics interested in the coin market value at the time, the image of Lady Liberty imitated the Roman god Mercury. So, it came to be known as the mercury dime.

And although the designer did intend to symbolize the agility and speed of Mercury and Hermes, another Greek god, he did not want the symbolism to go past that.

But, beyond the 1945 dime metal composition that has nothing to do with metal mercury, these are its other features.

1945 Dime Specs

  • Coin series: Mercury Dime (Winged Liberty Silver Dime)
  • Metal composition: Silver 90%, Copper 10%
  • Total Mintage: 241,295,000
  • Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
  • Mass: 2.5g
  • Diameter: 17.9mm
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Face value: $0.10 (10 cents)

1945 Dime Mintage

All three principal U.S. mints contributed to the 1945 dime total mintage of 241,295,000. This put that year’s dime production 5th in the list of the most common Winged Liberty Head dimes.

Each mint produced the respective amount indicated in the table.

Mint Location Mint Mark Mintage
Philadelphia No mint mark 159,130,000
Denver D 40,245,000
San Fracisco S 41,920,000
Total   241,295,000

1945 Dime Obverse Features

1945 Dime Obverse

The Lady Liberty with a winged cap takes center stage on the obverse of the 1945 dime. Her left-facing pose communicates a potent yet simple demeanor.

The word LIBERTY curves around the Lady’s head, and the motto “In God We Trust” appears on the front of her neck.

Weinman inscribed the mint year below the neck truncation line, while his initials (W over A) he inscribed above the year to the extreme right.

1945 Dime Reverse Features

1945 Dime Reverse

The reverse of the 1945 mercury dime bears fasces at its core: a bundle of rods with a hatchet that modestly appears on the top left, a symbol of unity.

Bands bind the rods at the center, top, and bottom ends. A single band also runs around the vertical length of the fasces, and a branch of olive embraces the fasces to signify peace.

Along the coin’s edge are the inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “ONE DIME”. A star separates the two on either side.

For the Denver and San Francisco varieties, the mint marks “D” and “S”, respectively, are squeezed under the stem of the olive branch, just after the word ONE.

The Latin motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” appears on the right.

Which 1945 Mercury Dimes Are Most Valuable

The most valuable 1945 Mercury Dimes are:

  • Those in high grades (MS66-MS69).
  • Those with full bands, especially the Philadelphia ‘no mint mark’ variety.
  • Those with the “S Micro” mint mark.
  • Those with mint errors.

Before giving details on the 1945 mercury dime value, this value chart has a quick summary.

1945 Mercury Dime Value Chart
Mint Mark Circulated (Good:4-Extra Fine:40 grading) About Uncirculated (AU50-58) Uncirculated (MS60-65) Uncirculated (MS66-69)
1945 no mint mark Mercury Dime $2.73-$4.34 $3.20-$5.31 $7.49-$36.00 $40-$1,400
Full Band (FB) $1,450-$12,750 $15,500-$47,000
1945 D Mercury Dime $2.72 – $4.33 $3.20-$5.30 $7.48 – $31.00 $40-$585
FB $11.00-$50.00 $60-$6,500
1945 S Mercury Dime $2.73 – $4.34 $3.20-$5.31 $7.49 – $36 $40-$1,650
FB $12.50-$110 $170-$9,950
1945 S Mercury Dime: Micro $3.55 – $7.48 $15.0-$25 $32 – $115 $140-$2,400
 FB $40-$615 $1,400-$19,750

A (-) means there aren’t enough dimes for price estimates in that category.

1945 Dime Varieties and Their Value

1945 Mercury Dime No Mint Mark Value

1945 No Mint Mark Dime

The Philadelphia mint struck the highest number of the 1945 mercury dime compared to the Denver and San Francisco mints. That means there are more 1945 no mint mark dimes in circulation.

But that does not lessen its value.

As you can tell from the value chart, the price of circulated 1945 mercury dimes and the uncirculated ones in lower grades compares to that of the San Francisco “S” dimes in similar grades. The Denver variety sells for less.

Instead, the S Micro variety has a higher value, commanding up to $115 in uncirculated condition against the Philadelphia dime’s $36 in a similar condition.

But that’s not everything!

The 1945 no mint mark mercury dime value can shoot up if it is Full Bands. That means the dime has a precise strike, and the bands around the fasces are well separated. For the 1945 mercury dimes with a poor strike, the metal did not flow well into the die cavity, and the bands stuck together.

And there’s a further detail to this.

The top and bottom bands usually come out well separated, but not the center bands. Because the center bands are the core point of the mercury dime reverse design, collectors and numismatics accord more value to coins with full center bands.

In fact, the highest-selling 1945 no mint mark dime with Full Bands is mentioned as the highest-valued 1945 mercury dime at the beginning of this post and is worth $96,000.

Interestingly, 1945 no mint mark mercury dimes with Full Bands can command four-figure prices even in lower uncirculated grades. The most recent example is an MS63FB 1945 dime that sold for $8,400 at the Heritage Auctions in July 2023.

And regarding grades, 1945 mercury dimes in higher grading (MS66 – MS69) also command exciting prices on the coin market, even if they are not Full Bands. Among the top five highest-selling 1945 no mint mark dimes, two are Full Bands, and the other three have high Mint State grades between 66 and 67. Let me show you that in a table.

Grading Value Firm Sale Year
MS67+FB $96,000 Heritage Auctions 2018
MS67+FB $90,000 David Lawrence RC 2019
MS67 $43,125 Heritage Auctions 2001
MS67 $25,300 Heritage Auctions 2009
MS66 $25,300 Bowers & Merena 2006

1945 D Mercury Dime Value

1945 D Dime

The Denver Mint produced the least number of 1945 dimes, 40,245,000 of them. But that’s enough to send out valuable pieces for coin collectors to date.

Unfortunately, even in high grades and with Full Bands, collectors value the 1945 D mercury dime a lot less than the other varieties of the year. In fact, four-figure sales are rare for this variety.

Records show the highest-valued 1945 D mercury dime is an MS68FB that sold for $13,200 at the Heritage Auctions in 2019. And that’s it for five-figure sales for the “D” variety to date.

To show you how real this is, the four-figure sales in the table below are the only ones in 2023 recorded by both the PCGS and the NGC. The other sales in this period range between $45 and $552.

Grading Value Firm Sale Date
MS68FB $3,120 Heritage Auctions Jul-2023
MS68FB $2,880 Heritage Auctions Jun-2023
MS68FB $3,055 Legend Rare Coin Auctions Feb-2023
MS68FB $3,600 Heritage Auctions Feb-2023

1945 S Mercury Dime Value

1945 S Dime

For many U.S. currency coins, the S variety is often the next most valued competitor after the Philadelphia variety. This is also true for the 1945 mercury dime.

The most valued 1945 S mercury dime sold for $25,300 in 2010 at the Legend Rare Coins Auctions. The dime has an MS68FB grading. Current sales trends for this variety record more three- and two-figure sales.

Nonetheless, 1945 S mercury dimes still sell for four-figure prices if they are Full Bands and/or have a high Mint State grade. One of those, with an MS67+FB, recently sold for $1,293 in November 2023 at the Legend Rare Coin Auctions.

You can check the top 5 sales for this variety in the table below.

Grading Value Firm Sale Date
MS68FB $25,300 Heritage Auctions 2010
MS68 $24,150 Bowers & Merena 2006
MS68 $20,700 Heritage Auctions 2009
MS68 $16,100 Heritage Auctions 2009
MS68 $11,750 Heritage Auctions 2013

It’s worth noting that five-figure 1945 S mercury dime sales aren’t numerous. The five on the table are the only ones recorded by the NGC and PCGS as of 2023. Four-figure sales are more common.

However, the number of 1945 S mercury dime five-figure sales will increase if we factor in the 1945 S Micro sales. But numismatics and coin collectors consider this a separate variety. So, we will abide by market standards and do the same.

1945 S Micro Dime Value

1945 Micro S Dime

The 1945 S Micro mercury dime is a variety produced at the San Francisco mint. The regular variety has a normal-size mint mark, “S”, while the S-Micro variety has a smaller and denser “S”.

Coin collectors take particular interest in the S Micro variety because it is rarer. In fact, the highest valued 1945 S Micro mercury dime value is second only to the Philadelphia variety value, outdoing even the regular S variety.

Going by current NGC records, the most valuable 1945 S Micro mercury dime sold for $25,850 in 2019 at the Legend Rare Coin Auctions. The dime has an MS68FB grading. Several other 1945 S Micro mercury dimes have commanded five and four-figure prices.

This table has the 5 highest-valued 1945 S-Micro dimes.

Grading Value Firm Sale Date
MS68FB $25,859 Legend Rare Coin Auctions 2019
MS68FB $18,800 Legend Rare Coin Auctions 2016
MS68FB $17,625 Heritage Auctions 2016
MS68 $17,038 Stack’s Bowers 2013
MS68 $14,950 Heritage Auctions 2002

Current market trends for this unique variety record more 3-figure sales, few 2-figure sales, and several 4-figure sales. One of the latest 4-figure sales as of Dec-2023 is a 1945 S Micro mercury dime with MS67FB grading sold in July for $3,120 at the Heritage Auctions.

Is there a 1945 Dime W Mint Mark?

1945 W Dime

Many U.S. coin series have the mint mark on the obverse side. That could be why some coin enthusiasts mistake the W on the obverse side of the 1945 dime for a Mint mark.

Well, it’s not!

First, the mint mark on the 1945 mercury dime is on the reverse side. Second, the W on the obverse side is an initial of the designer’s surname.

And you should pay attention to a related detail.

The W sits over an A. Both letters are the initials of the artist’s full name, Adolph A. Weinman.

So, does the 1945 dime W mint mark confusion increase the coin’s value? Negative!

The W over A artist signature is on the obverse of all 1945 mercury dimes and does not increase their value. Instead, what appreciates the 1945 mercury dime value are rare mint errors.

1945 Mercury Dime Errors

A mint error on the 1945 mercury dime can increase its value from the average price of a few dollars to tens or hundreds of dollars. That is true even with circulated coins in VF grading. If the 1945 mercury dime with an error is also Full Bands, the price can shoot up to thousands of dollars.

Let’s highlight some of the rarest and most valued 1945 mercury dime mint errors.

1945 Mercury Dime Struck on the Wrong Planchet

1945 Dime Struck on the Wrong Planchet Error

Mint workers sometimes strike coins on the wrong planchet. Apparently, this happened a lot when they minted the 1945 mercury dime.

Surprisingly too, the error is well-valued among numismatics and coin collectors, with some coins appreciating in value by thousands.

Check this list of 1945 mercury dimes struck on the wrong planchets. We went for the three most valued in this category.

Value of 1945 Mercury Dimes Struck on the Wong Planchet
Error Detail Grading Sale Date Value Firm
Struck on a Venezuela Quarter Bolivar Planchet MS64 2022 $6,600 Heritage Auctions
Struck on a Netherlands East Indies 10-Cents Blank MS64 2018 $2,640 Heritage Auctions
Struck on Underweight Planchet MS65 2021 $840 Heritage Auctions

1945 Mercury Dime with Broadstruck Error

1945 Dime Broadstruck Error

A broadstruck coin has an extended diameter because it was struck outside the holding collar. The coin may also present other features, like an extremely broad rim and distorted design details close to the rim.

The broadstruck error increases the 1945 dime value by a few hundred dollars. The value is higher if the strike shows better quality in the center design details.

Broadstruck 1945 mercury dimes surge in value by thousands if they are Full Band.

See these four examples of the 1945 dimes with the broadstruck error. Notice the difference in price for the FB varieties despite similar MS grading.

Value of 1945 Mercury Dimes with Broadstrike Error
Grading Sale Date Detail Value Firm
MS64 2021 Broadstruck out of the collar $360 Heritage Auctions
MS65 2005 Slightly uncentered broadstrike $322 Heritage Auctions
MS65FB 2018 Flat and extra-broad rims $4,560 Heritage Auctions
MS65FB 2016 Very broad rim and distorted design details near the rim. $1,116 Heritage Auctions

1945 Mercury Dime Off-Center Strike Error

1945 Dime Off-Center Strike Error

The off-center strike is another of the errors quite common in the 1945 mercury dime. It’s also among the most valued.

These coins present only part of the design to one side. The other side is left blank.

Despite being common, the off-center error significantly increases coin value, even for the 1945 mercury dime.

Below are some of the most valued 1945 mercury dimes with the off-center error. Error dimes that are Full Bands are more valued.

  • MS64FB struck 10% off-center – Sold for $3,120 in 2021 at the Heritage Auctions.
  • MS64FB struck 20% off-center – Sold for $2,040 in 2021 at the Heritage Auctions.
  • MS66FB struck 50% off-center – Sold for $1,495 in 2008 at the Heritage Auctions.
  • MS64 struck 20% off-center – Sold for $998 in 2014 at the Heritage Auctions.
  • MS63 struck 10% off-center – Sold for $468 in 2022 at the Heritage Auctions.
  • MS63FB struck 20% off-center – Sold for $460 in 2009 at the Heritage Auctions.

1945 Dime Broadstruck, Obverse Wheel Mark Error

1945 Dime Obverse Wheel Mark Error

Mint errors sometimes coexist on the same coin. One such case is a 1945 mercury dime with broadstruck and obverse wheel mark errors.

Wheel marks describe an area on the coin with many hairlines caused by the wheels of a coin counting machine. Graders described them as obverse wheel marks when they appear on the heads.

The broadstruck 1945 dime with wheel marks bears “UNC Details”, meaning it has an issue that does not allow it to be assigned regular grading. However, the coin is in Mint State and presents no wear.

On average, this 1945 Philadelphia coin would sell for approximately $7.47-$36.0. But, because of the broadstruck obverse wheel marks error, it commanded an impressive $384 at the Heritage Auctions in 2019.

1945 Mercury Dime with a Missing Number

1945 Dime Missing Number Error

One of the 1945 mercury dimes with a rare error is in the PCGS records. The dime has the number 5 missing from the mint year.

Under prevailing market trends, this dime would sell for around $4.04 in its Very Fine (VF20) grading. However, the missing number error increases its value to $81.01. The coin sold on eBay in 2018.

Other Valuable 1945 Mercury Dime Errors

Keep your eyes peeled for these other errors that also add value to the 1945 dime.

  • Tilted partial collar error.
  • Straight clip error.
  • Clamshell lamination error.
  • Partial collar strike error.
  • Struck through obverse error.

Final Thought

Many years have gone by since the US mints struck the last Winged Liberty Silver Dime in 1945. Regardless, the 1945 dime value is consistently high and commands premium prices in the coin market.

If you want the bigger bucks for your 1945 mercury dime, look out for the Philadelphia ‘no mint mark’ variety with Full Bands. If it also has a high Mint State grade (MS66-MS69), you could make a mint from its sale.

The 1945 S Micro mercury value is second in rank. But don’t look for a 1945 dime W mint mark. That’s a persistent confusion that does not increase the dime’s value.

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