At the height of World War II, 1944 saw the Allies, of which the United States is a part, gaining momentum in the global conflict. The wartime economy bolstered the buying power of the American currency, and a 1944 dime can buy you whatever can make you happy for at least a day.
The 1944 dime has lived through an important part of American history, and in this article, we’ll talk about how well this coin has aged, in terms of value, varieties, grading, and errors. We’ll also throw in some frequently-asked questions to help you out.
1944 Dime Value
|Mintmark||Good (G4)||Very Fine (VF20)||Almost Uncirculated (AU50)||Uncirculated (MS65)|
|1944 No Mint Mark P Dime Value||$2.62||$3.95||$5.20||$29|
|1944 D Dime Value||$2.62||$3.95||$5.20||$35|
|1944 S Dime Value||$2.62||$3.95||$5.20||$35|
1944 No Mint Mark P Dime Value
The 1944 P dime with no mint mark, as well as the rest of the varieties of the 1944 dime, is part of a series of coins called the Mercury dimes. Technically, calling it a Mercury dime is a misnomer because the depicted figure in the obverse of the coins is not Mercury, the Roman messenger god, but rather a young Liberty.
Minted during the peak of wartime economy, the Philadelphia Mint produced the largest yearly number of Mercury dimes in 1944, with over 231 million coins minted, one of the two only issues with a mintage of over 200 million. Way past its diamond and platinum jubilees, the 1944 dime has become relatively scarce, if not occasionally plentiful.
The Mercury dime was an iconic part of American coinage; this dime was minted just as the United States was joining World War I in 1916, and the 1944 issue, in particular, saw the Allies gaining momentum in World War II and eventually winning it in the last issue of the series.
Aside from such a rich history, the buying power of a dime was not to be underestimated despite its face value of only a tenth of a dollar. In the 1940s, including the 1944 issue, youngins can get themselves any of the following: a 52-page comic book, a double-dip ice cream cone, or two bottles of Coca-Cola. With only a dime in their pockets, people can get what they need to be happy for a day.
Today, not even the largest mintage of the Philadelphia Mint dimes can offset the dated issues of 1944 P dimes. With over 75 years after its minting year, the coin has become considerably rare but you shouldn’t have a hard time finding one because of the extensive saving up around that time. The coin is relatively plentiful up to MS67, with only Full Bands varieties becoming quite a challenge to procure at the same grade.
A 1944 P dime can be found for as low as $2.62 for the lowest grades, then steadily increase up to $17 before reaching the gem grades. Full Band coins can reach almost twice that, at $30 for an MS64 specimen. Gem examples are relatively cheap, if they’re non-FB, with an MS68 piece costing $425. At the same grade, FB coins command a significantly higher premium at $14,500.
The current auction record price for a 1944 P dime is $25,300 for an MS68FB piece.
1944 D Dime Value
An above-average mintage of over 62 million pieces from the Denver Mint is not the only reason that the 1944 D dime remains relatively plentiful despite it being well over 70 years since its minting year. When these coins were released, saving up fresh rolls become a widespread activity for collectors and speculators alike.
The 1944 D dimes were generally considered to be the better varieties. Aside from being readily available even at gem grades, the Denver mintage was better-struck, being stronger than the rest of the mints. To see if you’re getting the D dime, you can check for the mintmark right below the fasces on the reverse of the coin; a D mark should indicate that you have the 1944 D dime.
This issue of D dimes can be easily found across all grade conditions, up to MS67. Full Band coins are also pretty easy to find at those same grades.
The price curve for the 1944 D dime is very similar to the 1944 P dime. Starting at $2.62, a non-Full Band coin can be bought for as much as $17 before getting into gems. Gem examples start at $30 and only ever get relatively pricier at the highest grade available, MS68 for $425. FB gem specimens start at $40, and if you can find yourself an MS68+FB piece, you can expect to shell out $5,250 for it.
The current auction record for the 1944 D dime is an MS68+FB example, which sold for $5,040.
1944 S Dime Value
While the P and D dimes had exceptional mintage records for the 1944 issue, the San Francisco Mint held back and kept an average number, at least in recent years, with over 49 million pieces minted. It also shares the same fate as the other varieties, being properly preserved from saved-up rolls in its minting year.
Being just as common as the other varieties, 1944 S dimes are plentiful across all grade conditions up to the gem grades. They are ever so slightly scarcer than the rest of the other 1944 issues at gem conditions. Several proof-like coins were certified by NGC, although none of them had Full Bands.
The same story is being told by the prices of the 1944 D dime. It starts at $2.62, then reaches $22 before the gem grades. Gems with the Full Band designation coins start at $425, and while non-FB coins peak at MS68 for $600, an MS68FB piece can go as high as $7,250.
The current auction record price is $11,750 for a 1944 D MS68FB dime.
1944 Dime Full Bands
Some coins have a special grading designation unique to the coin series. These refer to certain design elements found on the coin that often indicate a higher-quality specimen, and may significantly affect the value of the coin once designated. For the Mercury dimes, it is the Full Band designation.
The Full Bands designation refers to the complete separation of the bands found on the fasces on the reverse of the coin. Note that the designation only considers the bands on the center of the fasces, despite the presence of two other bands on the top and bottom of the fasces. However, generally, the distinct separation on the central bands can already indicate a stronger and better strike compared to non-FB coins.
Because of the sheer requirements of having a good strike and being able to clearly identify each band on the coin, the Full Band designation is only reserved for coins with a grade of MS60 and above. FB coins are generally highly valued and sought-after by collectors, and so they command a higher premium than their non-FB counterparts at the same grade.
1944 Dime Grading
Like most coins, the 1944 dime is subject to judging via the Sheldon coin grading scale. A numerical scale from 1 to 70, the coin grading scale is used to identify the quality of a coin, based on certain factors. 1 refers to the worst circulated quality, while 70 refers to the best-uncirculated quality.
Rare 1944 Dime Error List
1944 Dime D/D RPM Error
A repunched mintmark error refers to an error where the mintmark on a coin is repunched on top of another mintmark. It is different from a doubled die error since the mintmark is punched separately from the design of the coin. The original mintmark, the one underneath, is often faint, although some examples might have some strong impressions.
Across the entire Mercury dime series, the 1944 issue has the most prominent RPM error, specifically on the 1944 D dime. The error is further designated by the original mintmark then the prominent mintmark on top of the original one. In this case, the error is having the D mintmark on top of another D mintmark, hence called D/D.
The name of the error is also further refined depending on the location of the original mintmark relative to the observed mintmark, e.g. the prominent 1944 D RPM error is D/D North, where the original mintmark is found north of the mintmark on top of it. Other varieties found are a D/D South and a D/D Tilted, which means the original mintmark is on the same location, although in a different orientation. Some varieties with the S dimes have also been found, but not as prominent as the D dimes.
The current auction record price is $995 for an MS67FB piece with a D/D error.
1944 Dime DDO Error
The doubled die error is a common coin error that originates in the hubbing part of the minting process. Hubs are used to transfer the coin design onto the die, while the dies are then used to create the coins from blank planchets. To transfer the design, multiple presses may be used to fully create the die. Once the hub misaligns slightly from the original presses, a duplicate of the design shows on the die, which is then copied onto the coins manufactured by that die.
The 1944 P dime has a known variety with a doubled die obverse error, although it is considered scarce to find. The error is easier to spot when looking at the letters on the obverse, such as the date, the word LIBERTY, and the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.
1944 Dime Broadstrike Error
A broadstrike error is another type of coin error where the retaining collar fails to properly secure the planchet as the die is being struck. The retaining collar produces the edges of the coin, whether it is reeded or plain, and keeps it in place as the die strikes the planchet to produce the coin. If the collar does not properly hold the planchet, it causes the coin to spread flatly, making it thinner and the edge not properly formed.
There are several listings on eBay for 1944 dimes with the broadstrike error. This error is pretty easy to spot; if the design has way too much space to the edge of the coin, then it’s likely that it has the broadstrike error. It’s important to note that the design must be complete to verify it as a broadstrike error.
1944 Dime FAQ
How rare is a 1944 dime?
Despite being a relatively old issue, the 1944 dime is not a very rare coin. With over 340 million pieces struck and circulated, many people managed to save fresh rolls of the coin. This means that many of those coins have been properly preserved.
The coin is relatively common up to the gem grade MS66. Full Band coins are easy to find until the first gem grade MS65. Beyond these grades, the 1944 dime starts becoming a challenge to procure, with the highest quality costing thousands to acquire.
How much is a 1944 P Mercury Dime worth?
The prices of all varieties of the 1944 dime are relatively the same, and usually, only vary at the gem grades.
A 1944 P dime with a low grade can be found for $2.62, then the price curve steadily increases up to $17 for an MS64 piece. Being generally better coins, Full Band coins can reach almost twice that price, at $30 for an MS64 specimen.
Gem examples that are not Full Band designated are relatively cheap, and an MS68 piece will only cost $425, which is pretty cheap for the grade. However, an FB coin with the same grade will cost you a whopping $14,500.
Is a 1944 Mercury dime very good?
Generally speaking, the Mercury dime has been considered to be a beautiful coin. Plus, the coin has a rich history, having lived through the Great Depression and World Wars. In fact, the 1944 issue lived through the turning point of World War II, when the Allies are turning the tides in their favor.
Although the coin does not get its merits for its rarity, it makes it up for an aesthetically pleasing coin and a story to tell for future generations.