Barber Quarter

Posted by on November 18, 2011

Coin Weight (g) Composition Silver Melt Value Full Melt Value
Barber (1892-1916) 6.25 90% silver, 10% copper
1892 Barber Quarter NGC PR-65CAM (photo by Northern Lights Numismatics*)

1892 Barber Quarter NGC PR-65CAM (photo by Northern Lights Numismatics*)

The Barber Quarter was one of the United States “Barber” series of silver dimes, quarters, and half-dollars coins which were minted from 1892 to 1916.  They got their name from the designer Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber.

In 1887 the United States’ Mint Director James P. Kimball requested the United States Congress to allow new designs to be created and struck.  Kimball also proposed that America’s best artists would be asked to submit designs.  In 1890 the United States Department of the Treasury asked ten well known artists to submit coin designs.  However the artists’ prices were considered too high and they tried an open contest.

The judges were Barber, sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens (who did the 1907-1933 twenty dollar ‘double eagle’ gold coin), and engraver Henry Mitchell.  The designs received in 1891 were not adequate and the new Mint Director Edward O. Leech accepted Barber’s designs. 

The obverse has a Liberty head which looks similar to the Morgan dollar Liberty however it faces right and the hair is under a cap which has a laurel wreath tied with a ribbon at the back and a diadem with “LIBERTY” inscribed on it.  The date is directly underneath with “IN GOD WE TRUST” encircling the top of the coin.  There are six stars encircling the right and seven on the left of the coin. 

They all have a reeded edge and composed of 90% silver and 10% copper.  They all were struck out of either Philadelphia with 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”.

1892 Barber Quarter NGC PR-65CAM. Part of an original Proof Set from 1892 (photo by Norther Lights Numismatics*)

1892 Barber Quarter NGC PR-65CAM. Part of an original Proof Set from 1892 (photo by Norther Lights Numismatics*)

The Barber silver quarter dollar coin is 24.3mm in diameter weighing 6.25 grams.  Its reverse has a bald eagle with wings and legs spread.  The right talon clutches an olive branch and the left clutches thirteen arrows.  In the beak is a ribbon with the inscription “E PLURIBUS UNIM”.  If there is a mint mark it is directly below the tail.  There is a field of thirteen stars above the eagle.  “.QUARTER DOLLAR.” encircles the bottom of the coin and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircles the top.

There is one small variation during the first year in order to address a problem with the silver quarter coins falling when stacked.  In 1892 the stack-resistant coins (variety 1) can be distinguished by the reverse; the “E” in “UNITED” is only half covered by the eagle’s wing tip (below the middle serif).  The corrected coins (variety 2) have most of the “E” covered (the middle serif is covered).  Starting during 1900 the wings tip extends past the “E” top.

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3 Responses to Barber Quarter

  1. Silver Monster Box

    greetings. Amazing post and a amazing blog

  2. Gold Buyers Austin

    This is really solid information, thanks very much.

  3. Handmade Jewellery

    Great piece of information. How does investing in period coins compare to putting your money in the bank or just buying the precious metal? Thanks

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