Barber Quarter (1892-1916)

Coins of this type were made in fairly large numbers for the time period in which they were current, though there are a few notable exceptions. As most collectors of the time sought only proof coins to represent current issues, relatively few mint state examples survive of the ordinary production coins. Augustus Heaton’s 1893 monograph extolling the virtues of collecting the branch mint pieces gave rise to a limited market for such coins, and a few dozen numismatists purchased these directly from the respective mints at the time of issue. Thus, while there are several scarce dates within this series, few are truly rare, except in uncirculated condition. Scarce, low mintage dates include 1896-S, 1901-S and 1913-S. Barber Quarters were the oldest coins of this denomination still circulating in the 1930s when the first inexpensive boards and folders for collecting by date and mint appeared on the market. Countless, well-worn pieces were thus saved for posterity, and the collecting of this series in its entirety has enjoyed some limited popularity ever since. The Barber Coin Collectors Society produces a journal devoted to the study of Barber Dimes, Quarters and Halves. There exists some interest in hunting for varieties, and the more desirable ones are included in VarietyPlus and attributed by NGC. Among them are doubled-die obverses for 1892 and 1892-O, as well as a distinctive repunched mintmark for 1916-D. Additional varieties are found within the books by David Lawrence and Walter Breen, but there appears to be little interest in them at this time.

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