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I like Barber quarters.
The series belongs to one of the most important denominations (the quarter) in our economy.
Also, Barber quarters offer the collector great opportunities for a challenging series of coins to assemble as a complete set.
But of course, this is not the only reason why I like Barber quarters.
Barber quarters are among the most popular coins from the turn of the 20th century. Struck from 1892 to 1916, Barber quarters are one of the most-recognizable coin series from the era.
Quarter Designed By Charles Barber
The coin’s designer, Charles E. Barber, is the namesake of the Barber quarter. However, many people also refer to the Barber quarter as the Liberty Head quarter.
Like Barber dimes and Barber half dollars, Barber quarters are part of a series with many common coins and several scarce and comparatively rare pieces.
The scarce coins in the Barber quarter series can cost several hundred dollars apiece to purchase. Common dates can be had for under $10 each in low, circulated grades.
The scarcest of the coins in the Barber quarter series are true knockouts to the average person’s pocketbook.
In fact, there are a few dates in the Barber quarter series that actually rival — and even exceed — the cost of the highly popular modern rarity known as the 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln penny.
So, what are the toughest dates to get your hands on in the Barber quarter series? Here is a run down of the most scarce Barber quarters in the series.
The mintage (number produced) immediately follows the date. The approximate dollar value range applies to coins which have not been damaged or cleaned and are graded between Good-4 and Mint State 63.
- 1892-S; 964,079: $32 to $900
- 1896-S; 188,039: $875 to $15,000
- 1897-S; 542,229: $65 to $1,750
- 1901-O; 1,612,000: $42 to $2,100
- 1901-S; 72,664: $6,200 to $50,000
- 1913-S; 40,000: $1,650 to $20,000
- 1914-S; 264,000: $80 to $1,675
Note the heavy price tag on the 1901-S Barber quarter. If you think about it, relatively few regular-strike U.S. coins struck in the 20th century have a value as high as the 1901-S Barber quarter. The 1913-S is the lowest mintage regular-strike U.S. silver coin minted in the 20th century.
Common Barber Quarter Values
Most dates in the Barber quarter series are not scarce. Therefore, it can be relatively easy and affordable to amass most of a complete collection of Barber quarters — especially if the coins are in lower circulated grades.
There are a few dates not included above that can cost between $25 to $50 to obtain in the lowest circulated grades, such as:
- the 1896-O (about $35 and up)
- the 1901-O (roughly $45 and up)
- the 1909-O (roughly $25 and up)
However, the vast majority of Barber quarters can be bought for less than $15. Most of those dates can be had for less than $10 each.
Higher Grade Barber Quarters Are Scarce
Collectors should know that higher-grade Barber quarters are relatively scarce, regardless of the date. As a result, you will notice a steep price increase for most dates between the grades of Very Good to Fine.
Similar price increases can be found between grades higher than Fine. Why? Because Barber quarters saw heavy circulation and relatively few were saved in those higher grades. Basically, demand is high and supply is low.
More About Barber Quarters
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!