Despite its tiny size, the “Mercury” dime may very well be the most beautiful coin ever produced by the United States Mint. It is truly remarkable that a coin this small could have such an intricate and aesthetically pleasing design.
One thing its design does not depict, however, is Mercury, the messenger of the gods in Roman mythology. The portrait on its obverse is actually that of Liberty wearing a winged cap symbolizing freedom of thought. Thus, the coin more properly is known as the Winged Head Liberty dime. But the misnomer “Mercury” was applied to it early on and, after many years of common usage, has stuck.