David Hall: I first became aware of the "Full band" situation with Mercury dimes in about 1975. I was at a coin show and the late Tom MacAfee said to me, "I want to show you something very special and teach you something about Mercury dimes." So he pulled out a 1945-P and told me he had just sold it to a customer for $50. Since this was a $2 coin as far as I knew, I was pretty puzzeled. Tom told me to look at the bands on the reverse. He said if I could find another one with full bands he'd pay me $40. And so I started looking for that date and others and soon discovered that some Mercury dimes...1943-D, 1944-D, etc...always come with full bands, and some so-called easy dates in Uncirculated condition are really rare with full bands. By 1976, I had convinced the Coin Dealer Newsletter owner/editor Allen Harriman to list separate full band prices in the CDN and the market soon gained traction. Today, the 1945-P with fully struck crossbands Mercury dime is one of the great condition rarities of numismatics, a Gem non-bands is $20 or so, and a Gem with full bands is a five figure coin.
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