Description and Analysis

Mercury Dimes
1917 S 10C MS

Description & Analysis

This issue enjoyed a generous mintage, due to the need for a great many additional coins during World War I. The war not only increased manufacturing and shipping, but new taxes imposed for the duration resulted in more transactions ending in odd figures.

1917-S dimes were common in circulation well into the 1950s, and many survivors are worn nearly slick. Examples may be found without great effort in all grades through MS 65, but very few of these display Full Bands (FB).

The majority of 1917-S dimes feature the old style obverse used for 1916 (photo), and those having the T17 obverse are scarce enough that they should carry a premium. There were evidently a fair number of reverse dies leftover from 1916, as many 1917-S dimes display the same, tiny mintmark tucked up close to the olive branch. The example illustrated, however, exhibits a reverse die from a later batch carrying the new style of S introduced this year, which typically is centered between the branch and the border (photo). As the illustrated coin indicates, this mintmark style is transitional with T16 and T17 obverses. Collectors should take greater notice of these various combinations, as rarities will emerge from such study.