Key date dimes: Which would you purchase? (2006 thread revival!)
You are at a hypothetical coin show, and your favorite dealer has just offered you two key date dimes, an 1895-O Barber, and a 1916-D Mercury. They are both housed in PCGS holders. The Mercury is an eye-appealing, high-end AU-58 with full luster (PCGS price guide value $12,500 in MS-60, but it looks a little better than most MS-60s, as AU-58s frequently do). The Barber is a PCGS MS-64 and is accurately graded (PCGS price guide value $13,000).
Assume you have the money to buy one or the other, and both are priced at $11,000. Which one would you buy, and why?