One of My Favorite Gals!

Most all of us, whether relic hunters, coin shooters or collectors, have a favorite coin, almost always an old one.  One of mine?  The Mercury Dime!

In 1916 all three United States silver denominations were changed, and the Mercury dime was introduced as the “Winged Liberty Head Dime”. It was rumored  that the designer, Adolph Weinman, used Elsie Stevens, the wife of lawyer and poet, Wallace Stevens, as a model, but that has never been confirmed.

Initially the Mercury dime caused problems for the vending machine manufacturers and had to be redesigned.  Then in 1932 it was taken out of production when long hoarded  coins were being put back into circulation thanks to the Great Depression.  Poduction restarted in 1934, and the series continued until 1945, when the Roosevelt design was introduced.

I think we all know about the 1916D, the 1921 and 21D’s, and the infamous 1942 over 1, but were you aware that many Mercs can bring a good price in EF condition?  I have looked back at mine (2×2’s) and many of them just might fall into that category.  I have no intentions of selling, but it’s nice knowing that  their value has increased over time.


I could list all the dates that offer a good return, but you can find them online just as easily. Let me just mention a couple. The 1925D in XF…..$90.  The 1926S….$190 (these are “Red Book” prices, and many variables may come into play).

My second favorite coin? The Buffalo nickel. Why? Because they represent the rugged beginnings of our country, and because the design, both obverse and reverse are  unlike any others issued by the mint. I spent a few years, early on, buying all the Buffalo’s I could, “just to have”!

Do you have a favorite coin?  If so, take a few minutes and tell me what it is, and why it’s your favorite.



Thanks again to Eddy Current, and to the UK and European Metal Detecting forum for the following update…

Roman Coin Hoard Found with Euro Ace



RetroMy friend Robbie Morin, is a member of the Montgomery County Artifacts & Recovery Club in Houston, an organization  that started back in 1982. Being the creative person he is, he decided to chronicle the club’s past by writing a book, and printing enough for each member in the club. 

It’s a retrospective of the club’s thirty years, and includes photos, old newsletters, a listing of past officers, member and club accolades, past guest speakers, and even  photos of detector models available during that time.

I really enjoyed going through this book, and hope your club might give some thought to doing something similar, especially if it’s been in existence  for some time, and has kept records from early on. It’s something members might want to pay for and a memento of shared good times….

Thanks Robbie. Great idea and nicely done!!



Filed under Metal Detecting

23 responses to “One of My Favorite Gals!

  1. Larry "Packrat" Bateham

    Hi Dick,
    The first coin I started to save as a kid was the Buffalo nickel. I always liked animals and the buffalo was cool to me. My next favorite was the Standing quarter with the flying eagle…thought i was a different design.

    Go figure I would like the two coins with the most dateless designs out there!

    • Thanks Larry,

      Probably another story or post there about how those two coins in particular are often found dateless. Can remember starting out, and using some sort of liquid to bring out the date on the nickels, never realizing that it only ruined the coin in the process (and never did reveal any good dates).

    • Doug Frantz

      I had about 20 dateless Buffaloes and used Nic-a-date on them. I was able to read a date on all of them, but to me they weren’t good enough for a collection – kind of fuzzy dates.

  2. Robbie

    My favorite old coin is the Mercury Dime also.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the MCARC retrospective book, it was very interesting putting it together. Thank you for the club plug!!

    • As if I didn’t know your favorite…. Robbie goes my “Dimeman” on many of the forums.

      Thanks for thinking of me, and sending me a copy of the club book. Nicely done and a great idea.

  3. Dave McCarthy

    My favorite is the Standing Liberty quarter design. And although it may have had too much detail to put on a dime, I would have liked to have seen it on the half-dollar ..

  4. By far, as American money goes, my vote goes to the Buffalo Nickel. I mean, what other coin, excepting the modern quarter series, featured an animal as cool as an American Bison?

    But recently, I discovered a coin that immediately became my all time favorite: The French Gold rooster. I am hoping that someday I can afford one. Heck, with the way gold is dropping in price, it may be sooner than I think!

    • Yep, the prices are dropping as I type this (again). Good for the club hunts, bad for the collector.

      Need to check out that Gold rooster David…not familar with it.

  5. Big Tony from Bayonne!

    Hello Dick, I too enjoyed the Mercury dime and looked really hard at coins trying to find a 1916D. The second hunt for a difficult coin was the 1909S VDB. I looked so hard for that one it made me wear glasses, straining at the tiny letters. After that I started to enjoy error coins. These as you know are mistakes from the mint. I find it interesting that some folks don’t recognize them in their change and give them up. Last coin I searched for was the 1950D nickel – lost more reading ability on that one too!

    • Started going through a lot of older coins looking for errors, and it was just too time consuming. Will probably get back to it at a later time. I always wonder about the folks who first find these errors. They must sit all day long going through rolls.

      I can remember digging 1916 dimes, and always crossing my fingers before I flipped it over….to no avail! I did dig a 1914D Lincoln.

      Can just hear my friends in the UK laughing their ass off….

      • Big Tony from Bayonne!

        The error coin I found was in my change not in a roll. It was a wheat cent that had an indent on the back. Something was in the press when it was minted then it separated. I also found an off center two cent piece. It was also hit by a lawn mower, and that is not good at all. I did search for nickels that were off center during 1999 and 2001. I found two of those going though rolls. I guess I went through about twenty rolls at the time.

      • Used to do a lot of roll hunting early on, looking for silver, and you could almost always find a couple in every roll.
        That was just a few years after silver was taken off the market, and people were not really thinking about their scarcity later on.

  6. Never mind the gals on the Mercury Dimes Ricardo, ….what about that Miss Whiplash, or Honey Babe-Legover (special rates for over 60’s). You still got thier ‘phone numbers? (purely for research purposes) I seem to recall Honey-Babe telling me that you were interested in overseas aid, well the missionary position, as she put it.

  7. Where did you find one with such clarity? None of ours are that legible, but they are one of the most exciting coins to find.

    • Hi Dee,

      Assume you are talking about the 1926S in my post…. I did not find it. I found the photo online, and used it as an
      example. Perhaps I should have stated that. I will say however that I have a lot of Mercury dimes in VF/XF condition that I did. First thing I would look at were the bands on the reverse…

      Thanks for posting….hope you and Rick are doing well.

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