Real or Fake? 1916-D Mercury Dime

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Steff, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Steff

    Steff New Member

    I took the mercury head dimes and the barber dimes to the coin shop. The guy looked at them for free and said that the barber ones are only worth $8 because they are pretty worn and he said he thought the 1916-D dime might be a fake. How do you tell?
    My neighbor had these coin collections since like 1940, and I didn't think he would be the type to make or buy a fake coin! The guy also said if it was real the coin would be worth $200 since it is in good condition.
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  3. rbm86

    rbm86 Coin Hoarder

    If you can, post a photo of the 16-D and we will comment as to whether it looks fake or not. Some are obvious from the photo, others are less obvious that some of this forum's dealers and moderators might be able to detect.
  4. mmarotta

    mmarotta Perpetual Newbie

    First of all, a genuine 1916-D Mercury Dime in Good prices at about $500 retail if it has no problems, such as cleaning, nicks, etc. There is a difference between retail and wholesale and between bid and ask, but the 1916-D Mercury is a key coin in a popular serioes and if it is genuine and without problems, $300 is an acceptable dealer-to-dealer price.

    As for the coin being genuine, according to the Professional Coin Grading Service -- speaking with only a little sarcasm -- there were 250,000 of those coins made and about half a million in collections. How would your friend know a genuine coin versus a fake?

    Did the dealer say why he thought it was fake?

    "The Mint mark is boxy and squared off. As the curve of the D begins to take shape on the right side, the top and bottom are angled, not rounded. The inside of the D looks like a triangle." -- PCGS Guide.
  5. cdcda

    cdcda New Member

    Only an EXPERT is going to be able to tell you for CERTAIN whether or not your 1916-D Mercury Dime is genuine. Whether or not the dealer you visited is an expert is difficult for anyone on this forum to state with any reasonable certainty.

    Some 1916-D fakes are relatively obvious and your average dealer could catch them without too much trouble or education. It is possible that your coin is one of these, and the dealer suspected it immediately. On the other hand, some fakes are so good that it takes very precise examination to determine authenticity. And, there are a number of different mint marks that were used on the 1916-D so many dealers will look in the variety of books on the market that show a single mint mark and call a coin a fake when it in fact is not.

    My advice, post a high quality digital picture here. A number of us can take a look at it and tell you if it is fake. What we cannot tell you for sure from a photo is whether it is real. If I for one do not believe it is a fake, my advice would be to send it to PCGS for certification.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Steff -

    I can't tell you how many times over the years I have had friends and other collectors find out that one or more of the coins they had owned for decades was a fake. And they never knew it. To be quite honest - most of the time even the person who sold them the coin didn't know it.

    What many of today's collectors don't realize is that fakes, counterfeits and copies of all the more valuable, older coins have been around as long, or almost as long, as the original coins themsleves. So it would not be the least bit surprising that coin bought as a genuine '16-D Mercury dime in the 1940's - was a fake. And it has nothing to do with the integrity of your friend. For if the coin is a fake - and I'm not saying it is - he just didn't know.
  7. Steff

    Steff New Member

    Thanks for the replies everyone :)

    It is really hard to take pictures of a coin! Making them JPG blurred them a little too. Here are my best attempts

    Attached Files:

  8. Steff

    Steff New Member

    Yes he said he wasn't sure about the D and also something about "scepters" (sp?)
  9. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    Why is it black in that area. Blowtorch from soldering on a "D"????

    I am no expert. That is why I would never buy a such popular rare coin (or a 19109SVDB cent) unless it was slabbed. It would be worth it for you to have it slabbed and then sell it yourself on eBay.
  10. National dealer

    National dealer New Member

    Can you get a little closer on the "D"
  11. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    That's my guess.

    Nevertheless, I'll give you 11¢ for it. :D :p
  12. ziggy29

    ziggy29 Senior Member

    Piker. If it's a real 1916-P dime with a "D" added, I'll see your 11 cents and raise you a buck! :D
  13. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Afraid I'm gonna have to go along with the dealer's opinion on this one :(
  14. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    BUT.....even if it is fake, thanks to the marvels of eBay, it woul dprobably still bring $25 or $35 as a fake. I've seen it done before.
  15. ziggy29

    ziggy29 Senior Member

    And probably MUCH more than that if the seller is unethical. Someone would certainly pay a few bucks for a known fake 1916-D, though, just to get that last hole in their coin album filled.
  16. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    True, of course. But, I would NEVER suggest selling it as anything but a definite fake (assuming that status has been proven to your satisfaction).

    Intoehr words, these guys who say "not sure if it is real", etc. etc. are trying to be unscrupulous while still convincing themselves that they did not lie to anyone. When someone sells a desirable coin unslabbed, I always get suspicious. Why not get it slabbed and sell it as a guaranteed authentic coin and get top $$ for it? Because they think or know it is probably fake.

    I say get the dime slabbed and see if they approve it.
  17. Steff

    Steff New Member

    Does that mean send it to the ANAC place? Sorry, I don't know much about coins- my mom told me to check on the internet and see if these coins were worth anything, they were in the closet for like 6 years after we got them.

    Also, a lot of the other coins in the book have the black marks on them.

    I am trying to get a closer pic of the D but it isn't easy!

    Attached Files:

  18. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    The black on silver is not that uncommon, actually. There are a few grading companies. I am sure others can give specifics.
  19. rick

    rick Coin Collector

    I don't buy slabbed coins, personally - they are too big for my binder - and my wife only gives me limited shelf space for my collection!
  20. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Steff -

    Yes - if you really want to know for certain - send it to ANACS. They would likely be your most economical choice in this situation. Check here - ANACS
  21. Dave Bates

    Dave Bates New Member

    I am new to all this. (10-19-2015) But, I just pulled my Mercury Dime collection out of our safe deposit box today (it is complete, BTW), and my 1916D is worn, and the D is properly positioned, has its serifs in place and at the correct angle. Only detail in question: the opening in the D is non existent. It just looks worn, as does the rest of the coin.

    Otherwise, I handle this set as valuable. My late father-in-law left it to me when he died and I tried to complete it as best I could.

    The dealer that sold me the 1916D (and a few lesser "Mercuries") has now closed down his shop, but not before he helped me complete the set my "FIL" started way back before I was born !

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