The majority of examples of the 1916-D Mercury Dime immediately went into circulation after being struck, resulting in only a small number of uncirculated survivors. Coins graded MS65 and higher are particularly difficult to find. Circulated examples are more available, but remain expensive, due to the high demand for this rare issue.
The value of heavily circulated examples of this key date in very low grades can be as much as $500 each. For lightly circulated pieces, the price shows a strong increase. As an example, a nicely circulated VF specimen, certified by PCGS, can easily bring $3,000 to $4,000 at public auction.
The finest known specimens with the “Full Bands” designation (FB, determined by the sharpness of the bands in the fasces on the reverse) are seven pieces graded MS67FB by PCGS and two graded MS 67 FB by NGC. It appears that the first number is influenced by at least a few resubmissions, with no more than four or five coins in the grade actually available. One of the coins graded PCGS MS67FB displaying original toning sold for $195,500 in August 2010, representing a record price for the issue. One of the examples graded NGC MS 67 FB sold for $97,750 in July 2009.
While the majority of uncirculated 1916-D Mercury Dimes have been certified with the FB designation, there are also some high grade examples without the designation. These coins usually trade for much smaller amounts than the examples that have been certified with Full-Bands, although they remain far from easy to find, and offerings are scarce. PCGS has graded a single MS66 as the finest example with just a handful graded MS65. NGC has graded two examples in MS66 as the finest without the FB designation.