1926 affords the Mercury dime aficionado a few challenges, especially for those that seek high-quality uncirculated specimens. While the Philadelphia mint struck a largely ample amount of pieces that year, the Denver and San Francisco mints struck far fewer pieces. In fact, the San Francisco issue from 1926 is generally considered a semi-key coin.
Here’s a breakdown of mintages for the three 1926 Mercury dime issues:
1926, 32,160,000 minted; $4
1926-D, 6,828,000; $5
1926-S, 1,520,000; $20
*Values are for coins in a grade of Good-4.
Values jump dramatically for these same coins in MS-63, with the San Francisco specimen registering at over $1,500 in that grade. The Denver and Philadelphia issues are decidedly less expensive in MS-63, at $300 and $70 for those pieces, respectively.
While the 1926-S dime can be found in lower grades relatively easily at most coin dealer’s shops, you may need to exercise a little patience if you’re looking for that issue in the upper grades. Be sure to look for well-struck specimens that are free of damage. Uncirculated 1926-S Mercury dimes should be bought with caution, as some more outwardly lustrous pieces may have been doctored. As is advisable when buying any high-grade rare coins, purchasing authenticated 1926-S dime specimens in plastic slabs from reputable third-party coin grading companies is the safest bet.