Interesting Facts About the Mercury Silver Dime:
-- The Mercury dime was designed by A.A. Weinman, the gifted artist who also created the Walking Liberty half dollar. Both glamorous Beaux-Arts coins were introduced in the same year, 1916.
-- "Mercury" is actually a misnomer for this dime, which depicts a female Liberty rather than the male Roman god. Weinman intended Liberty's winged cap to symbolize the American constitutional guarantee of freedom of thought. His model for Liberty was the wife of the famous poet Wallace Stevens.
-- The reverse consists of a fasces, an ancient Roman symbol of authority, whose joined bundle of rods represents the combined United States. The battle-ax at the top symbolizes American preparedness (the coin emerged on the eve of the U.S. entry into World War I). The large olive branch signifies a desire for peace.
-- The Mercury dime came up for retirement in 1942, after 25 years of minting, but continued throughout World War II. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt's death in 1945, it was replaced by the Roosevelt dime in 1946.
-- The Mercury and "Walker" were the last "Liberty image" coins struck for U.S. commerce. The inscription "LIBERTY" continues to appear on current coins.