Description and Analysis

Mercury Dimes
1921 10C MS

Description & Analysis

A severe, post-war recession set in during the final months of 1920 and lasted until mid-1923. This nearly eradicated demand for additional coins, and existing stocks took care of the economy for some time. The Philadelphia Mint did strike just enough dimes early in the year to prevent this date from becoming a rarity, though their low mintage has long attracted both collectors and speculators.

Widely hoarded from the mid 1930s through the 1950s, 1921(P) dimes are fairly plentiful below the grade of Fine. Mint State examples are certainly more scarce than for other P-Mint dimes of this decade, but they are not truly rare. Gems are pretty elusive, but the vast majority of Mint State coins do feature Full Bands. In contrast, this issue typically is weak at its peripheries, with flat tops to the lettering and an somewhat indistinct date.

Several denominations coined this year received slight makeovers, and dimes dated 1921 have a distinctive style of numerals not seen for other years. Specifically, both numerals 1 are bowed inward at their centers and have broad bases. Along with wide open loop to numeral 9, these features easily expose the many 1941 dimes which have been altered to read 1921 over the years.