Big Nub Numismatics's Blog

29 Nov 2018

Who Wears it Best? 4

| Big Nub Numismatics

This is the final article in a series of four which spanned about a hundred years of designs, denominations, and history. Throughout our nation's history, our coinage has shared the same design in and between denominations. Fro the draped bust designs to the barber designs that were so captivatingly simple, yet regal in nature.  Each denomination and design gives us a new perspective on how well the design works, feels and shares the story behind. From half cents to dollars and beyond, the size, composition, and denomination play a big role in this, but the question remains; Who wears it best?

The barber family was a powerhouse of engravers and designers. the Numismatist has a great article on this, I would definitely check it out if you have not read it. But this article is definitely on the designs of Charles barber, the son. This design is shown on all the dime, quarter, and half dollar. Charles Barber designed the Liberty Nickel, but as it does not have the same design as the others, it will not be included. This design was coined from 1892 to 1916. It features a bust of Liberty with a wreath on her head. The dime has a reverse showing a wreath with the denomination inside like that of the previous seated liberty coins. The half and quarter feature the same reverse with an eagle having a shield upon its head. This eagle is holding the motto, and above it, 13 stars are placed. This is one of my favorite designs of coinage. And Charles somehow made the design last very long into circulation without being worn down, and detail survives in most grades.

Dime: The dimes of this design are very attractive in higher grades, coins with luster are prime as always, but emplace something special on Barber dimes. Th wreath stands out with the luster and shine. I purchased an AU-55 example earlier this year, an dit strikes my eye overtime I see it. Finding junk ones are easy, and most of these are slider, or just barely showing the design. All of the higher graded cons do not come with a hefty price, and acquiring all is easy.

Quarter: Quarters seem to be the most expensive coins for designs on denominations. Spanning prices across several publication, coin stores, and shows, you can't help but wonder why quarters in higher grades, are more expensive than half dollars or dollars in the same grade or mintage. The barber quarter is no exception. In Uncirculated conditions these coin are quite the coin, luster shows particularly well on the reverse. But this coin is the least attractive of the design, detail is somehow not shown very well, which is perhaps the reason ones with detail are so expensive to acquire.

Half Dollars: Barber halves are great coins. They really put a pep in my step whenever I see a highly graded example with luster. The design shows very well, and the design has every bit of detail that was first used into process with the large half dollar size. These are in the mid hundreds of dollars when wising to purchase high graded example from About uncirculated to above. This is definitely attractive in all grades, and wear particularly well.



Level 6

I've enjoyed this series youv'e done for us. Personally I'm not a fan of this Barber design... Liberty kinda looks like a man...

Mike B

Level 6

I'm not a big fan of Barber coins. There nice but there is something about them. The father and son tried to stop the great Morgan from coming here. I own a book and they include every nasty letter he sent to stop George T.Morgan from coming here. The hate ran so deep Morgan worked out of his apartment on eight dollars a week. They have everything in this book what the barbers did I couldn't believe they did this. We're would America's coin be today if they we successful. The great Morgan Dollar and others would not exist . They were afraid Morgan would take over his job. Well in my option Morgan wins.


Level 6

Barber coins are not as popular as the more attractive coins, but they are great in their own way. The half dollar set is a good one to pursue, no stoppers.


Level 5

Barbers are one of those types that suffer greatly when in lower grades VG or below. At that grade level, the are quite unattractive to me. However,l when they have good detail and when Liberty can be read, they are quite attractive. Thanks for the series Big Nub, always fun to reacquaint oneself with a series I have never actively collected.

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