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The 1944 Liberty Dime was also referred to as the Mercury Dime or the Winged Liberty Head Dime and was minted from 1916 to 1945. Its composition, design, and value are all interesting to coin collectors and those with a general interest in this particular coin.

How Are Coins Produced?

To better understand the value of this particular dime, it is helpful to look how coins are made, or minted. To make a coin, you first need a die, which is an engraved stamp that makes the impression on the planchet, the blank made of metal alloy. Then the die strikes the planchet to mint the coin. If the die strikes twice, that is called doubling. Each US Mint puts a mintmark to show where the coin was made. There are four US Mints in operation today: P - Philadelphia, Denver, S - San Francisco, D - and W - West Point. Older mints were: C - Charlotte, NC, CC - Carson City, D - Dahlonega, GA, and O - New Orleans. If an old coin has no mintmark, it was made in Philadelphia or is an error.

The US Mints make special coins for collectors called proofs or cameos. They are doubled and have a specially polished and treated die. Because of this, their appearance is mirror-like. Collectors use a grading scale to assess the condition of a coin. It is the Sheldon Scale, and ranges from Poor (P-1) to Mint State (MS-70. A Mint State coin is uncirculated and is in perfect, or close to perfect, condition. On coins, the obverse is the front, or "heads" side of the coin and the reverse is the "tails" side.

There are several factors in determining a coin's value. One is rarity, which can happen because a mint did not make very many; there were not many coin collectors in the old days, so not many were saved; or the coins were collected to be melted down for new coins. Another consideration is the condition. A Mint State coin can sell for three or four times more than an average coin. Another factor is errors. If doubling occurred or if there is a flaw in the die, then those errors can add value to a coin.

About the 1944 Liberty Dime

The obverse of the 1944 Liberty Dime had a mythical goddess Liberty. She was wearing a liberty cap, which symbolized freedom. The cap had wings, which stood for "freedom of thought". The reverse had an olive branch with fasces on top of it. Fasces are sticks bundled together, along with an axe. The reverse images stood for a readiness for war along with a desire for peace.

All the Liberty Dimes were made of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. As the price of silver has increased in recent years, these old dimes have intrinsic value from their silver content. As of September 28, 2010, the melt value of a 1944 Liberty Dime is $1.5523. Following are current values of 1944 Dimes. Here is an explanation of the grades:

G-4 is a coin in good condition, XF is extremely fine condition, and MS is mint state, meaning an uncirculated coin in near perfect condition.

Date/MM G-4 XF-40 MS-60+
1944 $1.10 $1.10 $5.20 and up
1944 D $1.10 $1.10 $5.53 and up
1944 S $1.10 $1.10 $5.85 and up

There are also some extremely valuable Liberty Dimes as well.

Date/MM G-4 XF-40 MS-60+
1916 D $711.25 Rare Rare-unknown value
1921 $48.00 $333.75 $1175.00
1921 D $60.75 $436.25 $900.00
1926 S $8.45 $192.83 $680.88
1931 D $5.96 $30.12 $63.70
1942/41 $300.00 $595.00 $1875.00

The error that caused the last coin listed has an interesting story. When a mint is making a die, the design is stamped into it, and then it is heated (annealed), and stamped again. At the end of 1941, as they were preparing to start production of 1942 coins, a die stamped with the 1941 date got accidentally stamped the second time with the 1942 date. So, on that coin you can see a "2" stamped on top of the "1". It's an unusual error, as most errors are slight flaws or doubling, and makes owning one fun.