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1942 Mercury Dime Value Guide: 10C Regular Strike Coins

Accurate Precious Metals

July 1, 2024

The 1942 Mercury dime is a highly sought-after collectible that appeals to coin collectors and numismatists alike. This article provides a comprehensive value guide for the 1942 10C Regular Strike coins, focusing on PCGS and NGC coin facts. This guide is for both seasoned collectors and beginners. It offers insights into the factors that affect a coin’s value, how to grade them, and where to buy or sell them.

What is a 1942 Mercury Dime?

A 1942 Mercury Dime, also known as the Winged Liberty Head Dime, is a 10c piece minted by the United States Mint. Adolph Alexander Weinman designed the coin, which features an obverse with the profile of Liberty wearing a winged cap, symbolizing freedom of thought. The reverse showcases a bundle of rods and an olive branch, signifying strength and peace. This coin remains a popular choice among collectors due to its historical significance and aesthetic appeal.

The 1942 variant of the Mercury dime, minted during World War II, has become particularly valuable. Collectors appreciate its unique features, especially when graded in higher states like Mint State 65 or better. Understanding the coin’s specifications and historical context can enhance its appeal and value.

How Does PCGS Grade the 1942 Mercury Dime?

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) uses a detailed grading scale to assess the condition of a 1942 Mercury dime. The PCGS grade considers factors like wear, luster, and strike quality. A Mercury dime in Mint State (MS) 60 or better shows no signs of wear and retains its original mint luster. Extremely fine (XF) grades exhibit slight wear on the high points but maintain sharp details.

PCGS offers a census database. Collectors can view coin details and analysis there. It includes the count of 1942 Mercury dimes graded at each level. This service helps collectors understand the rarity and market value of their coins.

Comparing PCGS and NGC Grading Systems

Both PCGS and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) provide rigorous and respected grading services. NGC, like PCGS, utilizes a 70-point scale to determine the grade of a 1942 Mercury dime. However, certain nuances distinguish their methodologies. NGC’s census database, known as the NGC Census, offers statistics on the number of dimes graded, similar to the PCGS database.

Price differences between coins graded by PCGS and NGC can sometimes vary. NGC’s price guide values provide a different perspective, allowing collectors to choose between these two grading giants. A thorough understanding of both grading standards will aid collectors in making informed decisions.

1942 Mercury Dime Value and Rarity

The value of a 1942 Mercury dime depends heavily on its grade and rarity. High-grade examples, especially those graded MS-65 or better, command premium prices among collectors. The NGC Census and PCGS value guides show how rare these coins are in different grades, helping collectors determine their market value.

Factors like mint-made errors and Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) endorsement can further enhance the dime’s value. Coins with CAC approval have been verified for quality and consistency, making them especially desirable among serious collectors.

What to Look for in a 1942 Mercury Dime?

When evaluating a 1942 Mercury dime, examine the obverse and reverse for key details. A well-preserved coin will display sharp lines on Liberty’s winged cap and distinct fasces and olive branches on the reverse. Mintmarks, located on the reverse near the fasces, help identify coins from the Denver (D) and San Francisco (S) mints, which can affect value.

Collectors should also be vigilant for mint-made errors, as these anomalies can significantly increase a coin’s worth. Signs of circulation, such as wear or discoloration, can lower value, so seek coins in the best possible condition.

PCGS vs NGC: Which Should You Choose?

The choice between PCGS and NGC certification often depends on personal preference and specific needs. Both provide top-tier grading services and maintain comprehensive databases that reflect coin values. PCGS is known for its rigorous grading standards, while NGC is praised for its extensive documentation and detailed coin specifications.

Collectors might prefer PCGS for their registry sets, which offer a competitive edge in the community. Conversely, NGC stands out with its user-friendly NGC Coin Explorer tool, which provides convenient in-depth insights and price guide values.

Where to Buy or Sell 1942 Mercury Dimes?

Accurate Precious Metals is a trusted dealer for purchasing or selling 1942 Mercury dimes. While they do not currently offer free shipping unless the order is sizable, their reputation for fair prices and quality service makes them a reliable option. They plan to provide storage solutions for metal products in the future, enhancing their service offering.

Both eBay and specialized auction houses can also be excellent venues for buying and selling Mercury dimes. Comparing prices across platforms and considering certification from established graders like PCGS or NGC can help buyers secure the best deals.

How to Interpret Price Guides and Census Data

Interpreting price guides, such as the PCGS and NGC price guides, involves understanding the variables that influence coin values. These guides list values based on coin grades, providing a benchmark for collectors. The census data from PCGS and NGC reveal the number of coins graded at each level, indicating rarity and thus influencing price.

Studying these resources lets collectors gauge market trends. It helps them make informed choices about buying, selling, or holding their 1942 Mercury dimes. Monitoring changes in the census data can also provide hints about the availability and emerging trends in the numismatic community.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Collecting Mercury Dimes

Avoiding common mistakes in Mercury dime collecting involves staying informed and cautious. One key error is neglecting to verify a coin’s authenticity and grade. Utilizing trusted grading services like PCGS and NGC minimizes this risk. Another pitfall is failing to research the coin’s history and market trends, leading to overpaying or purchasing a less desirable specimen.

Collectors should also be wary of condition issues that are not immediately evident, such as cleaned or artificially toned coins, which can affect value. Proper storage is crucial, as it can damage coins. Collectors await future offerings from Accurate Precious Metals.

FAQs About 1942 Mercury Dimes

Is the 1942 Mercury Dime Considered Rare?

While the 1942 Mercury dime is not exceedingly rare, higher-grade specimens, especially those graded MS-65 or better, are less common and more valuable. The coin’s historical context and intricate design elevate its desirability among collectors.

How Does Mintmark Affect the Value of a 1942 Mercury Dime?

Mintmarks on the 1942 Mercury dime, such as ‘D’ for Denver and ‘S for San Francisco, can influence its value. Generally, dimes from the San Francisco Mint are more valuable, particularly in higher grades. Collectors should pay attention to these details when assessing a coin’s worth.

What Role Does CAC Play in Mercury Dime Valuation?

The Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) endorses coins graded by PCGS or NGC that meet high standards of quality and condition. CAC-certified coins often sell for higher prices because collectors trust this extra check.

Can I Get an Appraisal for My 1942 Mercury Dime?

Yes, collectors can seek appraisals from reputable dealers like Accurate Precious Metals or through grading services like PCGS and NGC. An accurate appraisal considers coin grade, rarity, and current market trends.

What is the Best Way to Store Mercury Dimes?

Proper storage is critical to maintaining the value of Mercury dimes. Using airtight containers and avoiding exposure to humidity and pollutants can preserve their condition. While Accurate Precious Metals plans to offer storage solutions soon, other secure storage options are available in the meantime.


To summarize, here are the key points to remember about the 1942 Mercury dime:

  • The 1942 Mercury dime is a highly collectible coin with significant historical value.
  • PCGS and NGC provide rigorous grading systems and valuable census data.
  • Mintmarks and coin grades significantly affect the dime’s value.
  • Proper evaluation and trusted grading services like CAC can enhance coin worth.
  • Accurate Precious Metals is a recommended dealer for buying and selling Mercury dimes.


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