The mintage of the 1916-D Mercury Dime is by far the lowest of the series and in fact the lowest mintage for a circulating dime of the entire 20th century. The Denver Mint struck just 264,000 examples of the coin which were delivered in November 1916. At this time it is believed that a decision was made to focus production on the quarter for the duration of the year and forgo other denominations. This is supported by delivery reports which show a sudden increase in quarters for both November and December 1916.
The low mintage of the 1916-D Mercury Dime captured the attention of collectors only after most of the coins had experienced heavy wear from circulation. As coin collecting gained in popularity within the United States, the demand for this key date has increased resulting in steadily climbing prices. Unfortunately, this situation has led to a relatively large number of counterfeits which are known to exist, including added mint marks (added to a genuine 1916 Mercury Dime struck at the Philadelphia Mint) and struck counterfeits.
The reverse, being the location of the mintmark, is particularly important when authenticating any 1916-D Mercury Dime, and comparing the style of the mintmark with the coin being authenticated is an important method when determining if a given coin is genuine. It must be noted that various mintmark styles exist, making professional authentication strongly advisable, for coins in all grades.