Designed by Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint Charles E. Barber, it was one of 3 coins bearing a similar design (the other 2 being the Barber dime and the Barber half dollar) and was first struck in 1892.
The Barber quarter is highly popular as a type coin but is also perfect for those who want to build a challenging date-and-mintmark series collection.
Even though the last Barber quarter was struck in 1916, many dates in this series remain relatively common, despite the fact that millions of these time-honored quarters have been melted.
Barber Quarter Values
There are, however, several dates that are quite scarce and pose the date-and-mintmark collector a serious challenge. These more-expensive Barber silver quarters are not only heavier on the pocketbook, but highly scarce and sometimes very hard to find in problem-free condition.
Even several decades ago, coin collectors were already aware of how rare some Barber quarters truly are, and due to high demand for these scarce dates, values for these scarce Barber quarters have been almost always relatively high.
To help illustrate this point further, you can see below historic values for Barber quarters as recorded in the 1965, 1985, and 2005 editions of A Guide Book of United States Coins, by R.S. Yeoman.
The values below are for Barber quarters in a grade of “Good” and are based on coins in typical condition for their grade.
1892-S $9 (1965) $15 (1985) $20 (2005)
1896-S $85 (1965) $235 (1985) $500 (2005)
1899-S $5.50 (1965) $7.50 (1985) $12 (2005)
1901-O $8 (1965) $10 (1985) $30 (2005)
1901-S $220 (1965) $1,000 (1985) $4,000 (2005)
1909-O $10 (1965) $9 (1985) $15 (2005)
1913-S $95 (1965) $300 (1985) $750 (2005)
1914-S $3.50 (1965) $13 (1985) $60 (2005)
As you can see, there are a few dates that have increased exponentially in values (such as the 1901-S), whereas others (like the 1909-O) have not even kept pace with inflation.
This helps illustrate the idea that buying coins solely for the sake of investment is not necessarily wise, and that coin collecting should be done primarily for the enjoyment of the hobby, with any profits being made as the result of selling your coins icing on the cake.