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Gold Mercury dimes get top grade

I had a member of my local coin club ask me recently at a meeting if he should send in his 2016-W gold Mercury dime for grading.

The answer boils down to what you plan to do with it.

If selling is your goal, certification can be a profitable route – if you get a SP-70 grade.

 Both PCGS (left, image from L&C Coins) and NGC (right, image from NGC) have special labels for the 2016 gold Centennial releases.

Both PCGS (left, image from L&C Coins) and NGC (right, image from NGC) have special labels for the 2016 gold Centennial releases.

At SP-70, also known as Specimen-70, the market price is around $370 per coin on eBay. SP-69s average $300. However, with the issue price of $205 plus grading and selling fees, the profit is modest for -70s and minimal for -69s.

Getting the SP-70 grade isn’t hard apparently. At Professional Coin Grading Service, the population report shows a total of 2,945 coins submitted with 2,619 at -70, 325 at -69 and just one graded -68 as of May 10.

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation has not released population totals at press time.

With 89 percent of gold Mercury dime submissions hitting that -70 grade, perhaps the Mint should be commended for striking a quality coin.

Matt Crane of L&C Coins, Los Alamitos, Calif., agreed, saying the Mint did its job well on the gold Mercury dime.

“We submitted ours to PCGS and got back a number of -70s and -69s,” he said. “We’re selling them along with coins in the original packaging. They’ve all been selling steadily.”

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Asked if the high rate of SP-70s would affect the secondary market value, he said it’s already occurred.

“The market has already taken that into account,” he said. “They’ll maintain their value.”

He broke the sales down further, explaining who was buying what.

“People who missed out on the initial release are buying ones still in their packaging,” Crane said. “People who just want a certified example want the -69s and those who want the highest grade get the -70s.”

As for those who just want a gold Mercury dime for their collection, keeping it in the original packaging can save money on grading fees. There’s always the option of submitting it for grading later.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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