Barber Dime

Posted by on February 20, 2012

Coin Weight (g) Composition Silver Melt Value Full Melt Value
Barber (1892-1916) 2.5 90% silver, 10% copper
1895 O Barber Dime

1895 O Barber Dime

The Barber Dime was minted from 1892 to 1916.  They got their name from the designer Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber.  These silver coins have a reeded edge and composed of 90% silver and 10% copper.  The diameter is 17.9mm with a weight of 2.5 grams.

The obverse of the Barber Dime has a Liberty head on it wearing a cap, a laurel wreath, and a band with “LIBERTY” engraved on it.  The date is underneath the Liberty head and it has “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircling the rest of the coin.

The reverse has printed “ONE DIME” stacked in the center and a wreath with ivy, oak, corn, and wheat encircling it around the rim of the coin.  Its mint mark is under the wreath.  Philadelphia has no mint mark, New Orleans marked “O” (which closed for good in 1909), Denver with a “D” (opened in 1906), or San Francisco with an “S”.

Sometimes the Barber Dime and the other Barber coin designs are often criticized for being lifted from the Morgan Dollar and the battle of personalities that embroiled the decision of which design was going to be used.  From the public’s general complaints surrounding the prolonged use of the previous Seated Liberty design the Mint Director James P. Kimball added a request to his 1887 annual report to the United States Congress and in 1890 the United States Department of the Treasury began the process.

Ten of the United States top artists were asked to submit plasters engravings for the selection of new dime, quarter, and half dollar designs.  However the artists all insisted that the time frame and prospective pay was too little to consider participating.  When the contest was opened to the general public over 300 drawings were submitted and only two received honorable mentions.  No design was selected and Kimball left office with no new design.

1894 S Barber Dime reverse

1894 S Barber Dime reverse

1894 S Barber Dime obverse

1894 S Barber Dime obverse

When Edward O. Leech became the next Mint Director he simply by stepped the selection process and the rivalry between sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (who later designed the ‘double eagle’ $20 gold coin) and the Chief Engraver Charles Barber by assigning the redesign to Barber.

To Barber’s credit, his design did fit closely with the modern high speed striking process of the times and only a few irregularities came up with the series.  Over a half a billion Barber Dimes were struck making a readily easy numismatic coin to collect.

Proof coins were struck from the Philadelphia mint, with an exception for the Barber Dime proof series the 1894 S dime is extremely rare.  The San Francisco Mint Superintendent J. Daggett ordered 24 of these struck, all as Proof coins, only 10 are accounted for.

American Gold and Silver: U.S. Mint Collector and Investor Coins and Medals, Bicentennial to Date
American Gold and Silver: U.S. Mint Collector and Investor Coins and Medals, Bicentennial to Date
List Price: $29.95
Sale Price: $17.40
You save: $12.55 (42%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
The Last 90 Percent Silver United States Coins - A Buying and Selling Guide (U.S. Silver Coin Series Book 1)
The Last 90 Percent Silver United States Coins - A Buying and Selling Guide (U.S. Silver Coin Series Book 1)
A Guide Book of United States Coins 2015: The Official Red Book Hardcover (Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins)
A Guide Book of United States Coins 2015: The Official Red Book Hardcover (Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins)
List Price: $16.95
Sale Price: $11.60
You save: $5.35 (32%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Coin Hunting Made Easy: Finding Silver, Gold and Other Rare Valuable Coins for Profit and Fun
Coin Hunting Made Easy: Finding Silver, Gold and Other Rare Valuable Coins for Profit and Fun
List Price: $9.99
Sale Price: $7.54
You save: $2.45 (25%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Silver Coin Pricing Guide, 1800-2000: A Reference for Buying and Selling 19th and 20th Century World Coins on eBay, Websites and at Coin Shows
Silver Coin Pricing Guide, 1800-2000: A Reference for Buying and Selling 19th and 20th Century World Coins on eBay, Websites and at Coin Shows
List Price: $7.95
Sale Price: $5.17
You save: $2.78 (35%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Coin World 2013 Guide to U.S. Coins: Prices & Value Trends (Coin World Guide to U.S. Coins, Prices, & Value Trends)
Coin World 2013 Guide to U.S. Coins: Prices & Value Trends (Coin World Guide to U.S. Coins, Prices, & Value Trends)
List Price: $8.99
Sale Price: $8.95
You save: $0.04 (%)
  Eligible for free shipping!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.