Value of 1921-D Walking Liberty Half vs 1916-D Merc Dime

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Revello, Jun 15, 2022.

  1. Revello

    Revello Well-Known Member

    Would appreciate your thoughts on whether the value of the 1921-D Walking Liberty Half in lower grades (EF-45 and below) will or should approach/catch up to value of the 1916-D Merc Dime in similar grade/condition. For comparative purposes, mintage of 1921-D Half was 208,000 vs 264,000 for 1916-D Merc. PCGS population estimate is 10,000 for each in all grades. There is more parity in value when you get to the MS-60 and higher grades.

    1916-D Merc has the following PCGS retail values for listed grades:

    G-4: $1250
    F-12: $3000
    VF-30: $5000
    XF-45: $7000
    MS-60: $12,500
    MS-63: $17,500

    1921-D Walker has the following PCGS retail values for listed grades:

    G-4: $300
    F-12: $1000
    VF-30: $2250
    XF-45: $4000
    MS-60: $11,500
    MS-63: $15,000
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2022
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  3. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    They're just book values based on the bidding they've seen. For those, as they're keys, they're likely to get intelligent bidding, meaning those numbers are for the most part meaningless at worst, inconclusive at best.
    Omegaraptor and Revello like this.
  4. Revello

    Revello Well-Known Member

    Yes, I understand that, but there's definitely enough churn in auctions for the 1916-D Merc to get a fairly good estimate of value based on grade. I don't necessarily agree that the price guides (PCGS for retail or Grey Sheet for "wholesale") are meaningless.

    Grey Sheet values for 1916-D Merc:
    G-4: $960.00
    F-12: $2,500.00
    VF-20: $3,600.00
    XF-40: $5,400.00

    Not sure if there's a lot of churn for the 1921-D Walkers, but following are Grey Sheet comparable values for it:

    G-4: $200.00
    F-12: $600.00
    VF-20: $1000.00
    XF-40: $3,200.00

    Significant disparity in grade-comparable values between the two up to the XF level, notwithstanding similar rarity.
    capthank and Stevearino like this.
  5. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht/Longacre Enthusiast

    It's really an issue of demand. The 1916-D Merc is one of the most popular coins in existence that can reasonably be obtained by an average person. The 21-D Walker is also popular, as any 20th century key date is, but just not quite as popular.

    Mercury Dimes are a very popular series and the 16-D is the only really expensive coin in low-mid grades. High grades are a different story obviously but most Mercury Dime collectors don't really need all the mintmarked teens/twenties to be UNC FB.
  6. Evan8

    Evan8 A Little Off Center

    IMO the 1916 D is more popular and more collectors would rather that than the 1921 D half.

    I think the 16 D is higher priced in lower grades because you have such a demand by all types of collectors.

    Value wise, I think the 16 D is always going to be more than the 21 D half. The Mercury set is more obtainable than the Walking Half set.
  7. ksparrow

    ksparrow Coin Hoarder Supporter

    the 16-D Merc has always been one of those keys that every collector, no matter how casual, knows about. Like the 09-S-VDB Lincoln. It's also a first year of issue coin which carries some cachet. I believe that to understand the scarcity of the 21 Walkers one needs a slightly more in depth understanding of the series. It's just not as "out in front" like the Merc.
    how about a little love for the underappreciated:
  8. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Tell your dog I said hi!

    I think you have to look at how rare each coin is compared to other coins in the same series.

    Here are the mintage of Mercs and Walkers sorted by mintage.

    Note that the 2nd lowest mintage of the dimes is an order of magnitude more than the 16-D. The 16-D is the only dime with less than 1M mintage. There are 9 walkers with less than 1M mintage.

    I think this makes the dime the rarer of the two relative to others in the respective series, therefore the premium should be higher for the dime.

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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2022
  9. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Tell your dog I said hi!

    I've completed the Walker set easily, but will most likely never finish the mercury set because of the 16-D (it's the only one missing from my set).
  10. Evan8

    Evan8 A Little Off Center

    Huh. Interesting. Maybe I am a little biased towards doing a walking half set and dont want the demand to go up lol
  11. Indianhead65

    Indianhead65 Well-Known Member

    The 16D Mercury is definitely more popular and way more in demand than any of the 1921 Walking Liberty halves.... therefore I believe the 16D Mercury dime will always be ahead in value for that reason.
  12. Stevearino

    Stevearino Well-Known Member

    As @CoinCorgi stated, it's the same for me. I completed my Walker set more than fifty years ago by checking the cash register in my parents' cafe almost daily as a teenager. I worked on my Mercury dime set at the same time and never found the 16-D.

    I sold the dime set in the old "Library of Coins" album quite a while ago, and am now contemplating selling the Walker set in the same "Library" album I bought as a 15-year old in 1964. It has so much darn sentimental value that I'm really struggling with the decision. My wife doesn't want me to tip over suddenly and leave her with coins to disperse; my kids aren't interested (except for the monetary value); we're about to lay out more money for the new condo we're moving into and I could use the cash...but. But I really like the set.

    Anyone out there to give me some support...rationale...advice about this?

  13. Cvette2015

    Cvette2015 Member

    I understand your dilemma, Sentimental vs Reality. If you don't continue to get enjoyment with the collection then sell it. By selling it, think of the happiness it will bring to you and your wife to have to NOT dig deeper into your pockets for the new condo. Being stressed over money doesn't make for good times if you can avoid it. Besides, when you pass on they are just going to sell it and get peanuts for it. "How much money can you leave the kids?" Enjoy life. IMHO.
    whopper64 and Stevearino like this.
  14. 1865King

    1865King Well-Known Member

    Don't sell it if it means that much to you. One set of coins shouldn't be a big issue for your wife to deal with unless they're all mint state. Besides she may die first. I still have the first coin I ever bought. I sold many of the coins I bought over the years but, the first coin I ever bought is staying right where is. It's a 1929 SL quarter worth less than $10.00 today. Not a high value coin but that doesn't matter. I paid all of 75 cents for it when I bought it back around 1964 or 65.
    daniel a DiBiasio and Stevearino like this.
  15. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Well-Known Member

    When I was 13, I had a paper route. Not only did I ran my paper route, but I also had to collect from my customers. It was collecting that I would receive coins from my customers. Each Christmas, I would get $5 from almost all of my customers. Other Christmas tips were in coins. One Christmas, the wife gave me 4 Quarters that she got from her husbands coin collection. They were Standing Liberties. I was so excited that I couldn't wait until my father came home. My bubble burst when he told me that they were very expensive coins and probably came from the Husband's coin collection. He told me that I would have to return the coins. It was late, so I had to wait until the next day. When I returned the coins to my customer (husband), I handed the quarters to him. He was so excited that he hugged me. (That was not cool for a 13 year old boy.) He thanked me over and over. He explained how important the coins were to him. He then, got a $20 out of his wallet and gave it to me. My father told me that it was too much. My customer took the $20 and asked me, as he looked at my father, he asked if $5 would be acceptable. My father said that $5 would be fine. (Two times my bubble burst. First the quarters and then the $20. For being in 1960, $5 was a great tip.)
  16. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    1916-D by far. I have both, they are very hard to find in better condition, but we did it.
    daniel a DiBiasio likes this.
  17. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    I have a full low grade set of Mercury Dimes and 2 full sets of low grade Walkers. The second set of Walkers was built from my existing junk coins except for 6 coins.

    I had the 1921 and the 1921-D in junk silver. The coins I didn’t have were not difficult to obtain by any standard as I just recently purchased them from my LCS at less than $18.00 each.

    I have a second set of Mercury Dimes except for the 1916-D, also assembled from my junk silver. Given the current pricing for that key date I doubt I’ll find one under $500 to finish that set.

    This tells me that they are more collectors and demand is high for the Dimes verses the Halves.
  18. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Good job
  19. Vertigo

    Vertigo Did someone say bust?

    Yep! This is it right here. More demands for the dime versus the half. It might not be a bad idea though to have some 21d halves bought up and set back. They might not ever go higher but if they do i would want to be the guy who has a few extra laying around. But in my collection I currently have a 16d dime but no 21d walker. I have a 21p walker though.
  20. whopper64

    whopper64 Well-Known Member

    I agree with CVETTE2015 in that the sentimentality should not outweigh the additional money needed for your new condo. Less economic pressure should lead to happier days. Since your kids have no interest, go ahead and sell it and enjoy your life to the fullest.
    Stevearino likes this.
  21. Vertigo

    Vertigo Did someone say bust?

    Yes I would have the same hard time letting this go. I don't know that I could. But if I knew that my inheritors would just sell it if I died i think I would prefer being the one spending the money. But a set like that can never be assembled the way you assembled that one again.
    Stevearino likes this.
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