Upon hearing of "Barber
coinage", a non-collector might conjure up an image of a barber shop
on a coin. Actually, the term refers to the design of the U.S. Dime,
Quarter, and Half Dollar, created by Mint Engraver Charles Barber and
1892 to 1916.
inferiority of our coinage to the same kind of work by almost every
other advanced nation of the earth... seems to be perceived by all who
have given attention...as unworthy of the development which the arts of
sculpture and design have here attained...
After a failed attempt to secure a new U.S.
coinage design through a public competition, the job eventually landed
on Barber's desk. Some scholars conclude Barber had a hand in
sabotaging the competition, for as a the only government official on
the three man judge panel, he certainly was in a position to do so, and
made no secret that he wanted the honor.
While This Coin Was Minted...
A uniquely American musical genre called ragtime enjoyed its
greatest popularity during the period of Barber coinage
production. The distinctive syncopated melody of ragtime filled
music parlors and dance halls in those years. Scott Joplin (inset
above) is recognized as the "King of Ragtime" for his important
contributions to classic ragtime.
The new coins became a presence in everyday
life, during an era of great transition for the nation. During
this time, the United States took a place on the world stage as a major
military power and industrial giant. Barber coinage continued
until 1916, when ironically, it fell victim to same complaints that led
to its origin.
Key date Barber Quarters are offered for sale below through eBay coin auctions. The left hand side of each "Sales Box" is value trend data over a long period of time for a coin of that date in Good-4 condition. The percent annual increase since 1950 is computed for comparative purposes. To protect your investment, DO NOT buy any Barber Quarter key dates, or any rarity for that matter, unless they've been certified by PCGS, NGC, ICG, or ANACS, or from a reputable dealer. The coin pictured for sale in the right hand side, if any, is not necessarily the same condition coin or same variety as that represented in the value trend analysis on left hand side.