» 1920 Dime Error List & Value

1920 Dime Error List & Value

1920 dime value

The American coinage history is rich and interesting because you will find many old coins with tremendous value. One such coin is the 1920 dime, which is part of the series called Mercury dimes. If you have one of these coins, it is crucial to see how valuable it is.

There are several ways to determine the value of any old coin, including the 1920 dime. However, this coin is old and heavily circulated. Consequently, many of the dimes are degraded, reducing their worth. Only a few are still in a mint state, but they are not readily available.

However, despite the heavy circulation and consequent degradation, what is the 1920 dime value? We look at various aspects of the coin that affect its value, including the mint marks and grade. These will provide better information to guide you in getting the dime’s true worth.

1920 Dime Value Chart

Mint Mark Good  Fine  Extremely Fine Uncirculated
1920 No Mint Mark Dime Value $1.68 $2.03 $4.15 $52
1920 ‘D’ Dime Value $1.68 $2.40 $23 $135
1920 ‘S’ Dime Value $1.81 $3.13 $21 $230

Silver coins are usually valuable, as is evident with the 1920 dime. Although the face value is only ten cents, a coin that is only in a good condition is worth more than a dollar. The better the coin’s condition, the higher the value collectors place on it.

The dime has a mintage of about 92,021,000 from three mints, which is not a high number. At the same time, it is high enough to indicate how available it is on the market. This may be one of the reasons for the value, although some of the coins are considered more valuable than others.

But while the mintage is key to determining the dime’s value, you must also consider the buyer. Some buyers are willing to pay higher than others for specific reasons. Sometimes, a buyer may be looking for a particular dime type to complete a series or collection.

Finding that rare coin means more to them than the cost. In other words, they are usually willing to pay well for the coin.

From 1916 to 1945, the United States Mint struck the Mercury dimes, a series into which the 1920 dime falls. The dimes began their journey as a replacement for the Barber coins, which the Chief Engraver Charles Barber designed in 1892.

The Barber coins, which included a dime, quarter, and half dollar, were not very well accepted by the public. Simply put, it did not like the design. This led to several unsuccessful attempts to redesign the coins.

So, when the coins were near the end of their 25-year minimum term of circulation in 1915, the Treasury asked the mint to conduct a competition to get a different and unique design to replace the old coins. Different artists, including Charles Barber, sent in their designs as part of the competition.

However, designs for the half dollar, the reverse of the quarter, and the dime from Adolph A. Weinman came out the best and won the competition. The obverse of the dime showed Lady Liberty with a cap and the reverse showed a bunch of arrows and an axe tied together.

By the first quarter of 1916, the Treasury commissioned the designs and production began. But there was a bit of confusion about the obverse design on the dime. The Phrygian cap caused people to think the image was of the Roman god Mercury. As a result, the dimes got the name Mercury dimes.

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In reality, the name is the Winged Liberty Head, the winged cap representing the freedom of thought. Many believed that the image of Liberty was inspired by Elsie Stevens, the wife of poet and lawyer Wallace Steves, although Weinman never said anything to indicate this.

The public liked the simple yet beautiful design. But the Mint had to make several changes to make the coin usable in vending machines. And by 1945, the Treasury began calling for new designs for the popular dime. There is a gold version minted in 2016 to commemorate the dime’s centenary.

Effect of Coin Condition on Value

We mentioned that several factors inform the value of any old coin, including the 1920 dime. So, to get the correct value for your coin, you must know the conditions under which it can be. The value chart shows four categories, from good to uncirculated.

A good condition refers to when a coin is degraded and at its lowest level. It means the coin looks worn, with no shine or distinguishable facial features for the images. A coin in this condition can still fetch a little above a dollar.

A little above this condition is the fine condition. In this condition, the coin looks better than a coin in good condition, which means it can fetch a little more money than the other coin. But sometimes, owners cannot tell the difference unless correctly graded or with a rare marker.

Where the money usually is in coins in extremely fine or uncirculated conditions. Such a coin will look finer with distinguishable features and shine. Uncirculated coins are usually the best, although they are not readily available.

1920 No Mint Mark Dime Value

1920 No Mint Mark Dime Value
Image Credit: USA Coin Book

If you have a 1920 dime without a mint mark, it means the coin was minted in the Philadelphia branch of the United States Mint. The branch struck 59,030,000 dimes in 1920, which is a considerably high number, but not too much as to make it completely valueless.

From the chart, the Philly coins have some value, although it is the lowest one. But in a high-grade mint state, the dime without a mint mark may be worth more than a thousand dollars. A price guide valued one such coin at $1,300.

The dime is a shiny color because of its silver content. In mint states, the luster is high and the coin looks almost white. The obverse bears the face of Liberty facing left with the legend LIBERTY struck around the top of the coin. It is spread so that it covers the entire top part of the obverse, right around Liberty’s head.

In front of her neck is the country’s motto IN GOD WE TRUST. It sits tightly between her neck and the coin’s rim. Behind Liberty’s neck, close to the base, is the designer’s initials AW, and under the neck, the mint date 1920 fits tightly, almost disappearing into the rim.

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On the reverse, you will find a fasces, which is a bundle of sticks or rods with an axe, all tied together with a strip. The axe head protrudes and faces left with branches bracketing the fasces. It is the Latin name for what the ancient Romans used as a symbol of power and authority.

Letterings circle the fasces, but the Latin words E PLURIBUS UNUM appear just beside the fasces and under one of the branches. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the denomination ONE DIME circle everything else.

Both sides of the coin have a few varying versions. For the obverse, some strikes appear weak, dulling the effect of the designs. This issue may be more obvious on coins with clear luster. For the reverse, some coins have no bands, while others have split bands.

1920 ‘D’ Dime Value

1920 ‘D’ Dime Value

The 1920-D coins have a better value than the Philadelphia coins because of their mintage and mint mark. The mint mark indicates that these coins were minted in the Denver branch of the United States Mint. With a mintage of 19,171,000 dimes, Denver struck a significantly lower number of dimes in 1920

D-coins have noticeably weak strikes because of the cracked or damaged dies used during minting. Also, all D coins went into circulation upon production, which means there are hardly any gem-state 1920-D dimes available. These reasons may account for the small difference in price between Denver and Philly dimes, despite the difference in mintage.

You can get a D dime for about $3 in a circulated condition. Better-looking coins may be worth about $18. If you manage to find an uncirculated dime or one still in a mint state, you may get up to $3,000 for it.

1920 ‘S’ Dime Value

1920 ‘S’ Dime Value

Dimes with an S mint mark were struck in San Francisco, which is one of the branches of the United States Mint. it has a mintage of about 13,820,000 dimes, which is a lower number than that of Denver. The evidence is in the value of S dimes from the value chart.

Many 1920-S dimes have a weak strike, and they were stored in the Mint vaults for some time. The reason behind the weak strikes was cracked or damaged dies worn out due to age. This also means some key details are missing in most of the coins.

Therefore, S dimes with full bands and dates appearing in clear details are rare, resulting in significantly higher values. In circulated conditions, this dime can fetch about $3. In extremely fine conditions, you may get $50 or it.

Since S dimes in gem state or uncirculated conditions are rare, their values are high. If you have a coin in that condition, you may get as much as $2,000. In the best condition, with full bands, and a gold-lilac tone, which is extremely rare, an S dime is valued at about $72,000.

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The mint mark on D and S dimes is on the reverse. It is in front of the E in ONE for the denomination. While small, it is easy to find it if you know the location. Note that there were no Proof dimes struck in 1920.

1920 Dime Grading

Professional graders follow strict guidelines to grade all coins. With the Sheldon scale, they can determine the exact grade of old coins, which are typically difficult to grade because of degradation and wear unless they are in mint state.

Even in mint states, coins must be further divided into different levels when properly graded. The same applies to all coin conditions. The scale grades old coins from 1 to 70, with 70 being the highest level, although there are hardly any coins with this grading.

In the video below, you will learn how to grade Mercury dimes using coins from different years.

Rare 1920 Dime Errors List

Several errors occur with a 1920 dime, and we discuss some of them below.

1920 Dime Clipped Planchet Error

1920 Dime Clipped Planchet Error
Image Credit: eBay

An error where a small part of the coin planchet is clipped off or chipped can occur during striking. While it is not common, this error can boost the value of a coin if you have one like it. Depending on the size clipped off, it may affect the design. But you must ensure the clipped part is a mint error and not damaged from circulation. Only a grader like PCGS can correctly determine the origin of the error and place a value on it.

1920 Dime Off-Center Strike Error

1920 Dime Off-Center Strike Error
Image Credit: Heritage Auctions

This error occurs when the die strikes off the center of the coin planchet. The percentage of the off-center strike can vary between 5% and 95%, and the bigger the percentage is, the more likely the coin is to get a high value.

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The money usually climbs for dimes with 50% or more off-center strikes. But a dime with a 20% off-center strike once sold for about $1,800.

1920 Dime Broad Struck Error

1920 Dime Broad Struck Error
Image Credit: icollector

If a coin has a broad struck error, it means the planchet and striking press do not align. And when this happens, the design exceeds the retaining collar, which is a metal ring that keeps the dime within the correct diameter.

If the collar is misaligned to accommodate this error, the dime has a bigger diameter and a thinner feel. However, dimes with this error attract great prices, especially if they are in a mint state.

1920 Dime FAQs

What were dimes made of in 1920?

1920 dimes were made of silver and copper. They contain a metal composition of 90% silver and 10% copper. With a silver pureness of .999, the coin’s melt value is high and value. That is why the dime value can fluctuate with the precious metals market.

How much is a 1920 dime worth today?

A 1920 dime is worth about $1.80 in a circulated condition, but this value depends on the mint mark and exact grade. Some can have a higher price, especially with an S mint mark, while others may not be so valuable.

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