Coin Set - 5 Mercury Dimes
A great gift for young numismatists (coin collectors) who may have heard of "Mercury" dimes from their grandparents — but probably haven't seen them, because President Franklin Roosevelt has been on the U.S. ten-cent coin since 1946.
These coins come from an era when American coins were more beautiful than today, and provide ample opportunity for youngsters to learn about American values.
"Mercury" dimes don't actually depict the mythological Mercury! Rather, the image on the front (or "obverse") of these coins is a fanciful representation of Liberty. This was common to American coins in the 1700s and 1800s. She wears what is known as a "Phrygian cap," worn by freed slaves in Roman times. Here, it represents freedom. The cap's wings represent freedom of thought.
The "reverse" is just as interesting. It features fasces, a bundle of white birch rods and an axe assembled into a cylinder by being tied together. In Roman times, this was a symbol of authority; the secondary meaning is strength from unity. Also on the reverse was an olive branch, symbolizing the desire for peace. Struck first in 1916 as World War I was underway, but not yet entered into by the U.S., the design lasted until 1945, when both sides were replaced.
Because these coins are 90% silver, some collect them for their value in silver. This starter set includes five common, random, different-dated "Mercury" dimes, graded very good or better, in a colorful velour pouch ideal for carrying or keeping safe.