Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 32

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Lot 2313

1916 Pattern Dime. Silver, reeded edge. PCGS graded Proof 25. Deep gunmetal toning on either side around and within the main devices. Two minuscule nicks on Liberty's neck can be used for future reference, one is at the throat, the other near the tip of the bust near the rim; otherwise the surfaces show no distinguishing marks or other signs of handling other than its use in circulation, which in and of itself seems incredible to a collector of Pattern coins!

One of the great Pattern rarities, the 1916 Mercury Dime is rarely offered because the few known examples are generally kept locked away in large Pattern estates. Perhaps only once or twice in a decade does such a coin get auctioned. This example, Judd 1982, is only the 2nd known example!

The first discovered example, the Robinson/Guth specimen, now graded by NGC PR-12, was reportedly "plucked out of circulation" by a bus driver as reported in The Numismatic Scrapbook, August 1970. Coin World published photos of the Robinson-Guth specimen in the Jan. 14, 1970 issue. The new 8th edition uses wrong photos, this has been confirmed by expert Saul Teichman. This example is a new discovery found June 16, 2004 and only graded by PCGS.

Judd listed all 1916 Mercury patterns under J-1794. The revised Whitman 8th Edition shows as follows:

J-1981: Small head, shifted left, micro date, bust not near rim.
J-1982: Larger head, bust touching rim, micro date, macro motto.
J-1983: Similar large head, separated from rim
J-1984: Virtually identical to the regular issue except for minor differences in positions of the obverse lettering.

Here is an opportunity to acquire the finest known of only 2 examples extant.

The designers of the patterns appearing during this year were apparently influenced by the wars in Europe and this nation's desire for peace.

A. A. Weinman designed a dime in which the obverse was a winged head of Liberty derived from the denarii of Ancient Rome. The designer explained that "the wings crowning her cap of Liberty are intended to symbolize liberty of thought." He selected "the fasces and olive branch to symbolize the strength which lies in unity, while the battle-axe stands for preparedness to defend the union. The branch of olive is symbolical of our love of peace."

In recent years some have expressed surprise that when a new specimen of a 1916 Pattern is discovered it is usually worn, quite contrary to what one expects of a Pattern. The fact is that these patterns so closely resembled the regular issue that they were put into circulation by one owner after another. "It seems obvious," according to Judd, "that there are probably six or more different varieties with about a dozen specimens known overall."
Estimated Value $25,000 - 35,000.

Realized $46,000

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