Designed by Charles E. Barber who was then the chief engraver, the Barber half dollar has long been popular as both a type coin and as a coin collected by date and mintmark within a series.
The series ended in 1915, and over the course of 23 years several scarce, and even rare, dates were minted. Many of these scarce dates have long been recognized by coin collectors as “tough” dates, especially in the higher grades, such as Fine-12 and up.
Many coin collectors who are just emerging into collecting Barber half dollars by date are often surprised at the challenge in assembling a complete set of Barber halves in grades as low as Good-4.
The reality is that many Barber half dollars saw heavy circulation and weren’t saved, so finding a Barber half with nice, even wear and full rims can be a daunting undertaking for some dates, especially the scarcer ones.
Historical Values Of Barber Half Dollars
Following is a look at how the prices have changed during the years 1965 through 2005 on the scarcer Barber half dollar dates:
1892-O $20 (1965) $100 (1985) $175 (2005)
1892-S $20 (1965) $100 (1985) $200 (2005)
1893-S $19 (1965) $50 (1985) $120 (2005)
1896-S $20 (1965) $50 (1985) $70 (2005)
1897-O $20 (1965) $50 (1985) $60 (2005)
1897-S $20 (1965) $85 (1985) $125 (2005)
1901-O $2.50 (1965) $8.50 (1985) $12 (2005)
1901-S $6 (1965) $13 (1985) $20 (2005)
1903-S $2.50 (1965) $8 (1985) $10 (2005)
1904-S $6 (1965) $13 (1985) $20 (2005)
1913 $9.50 (1965) $18 (1985) $25 (2005)
1914 $12.50 (1965) $25 (1985) $35 (2005)
1915 $10 (1965) $18 (1985) $28 (2005)
*Unless otherwise specified, all values apply to Barber half dollars in Good-4 condition.
While this is not a comprehensive look at all the dates in the series, it is an informative and entertaining illustration of how Barber half dollar values have changed over the years for a coin that continues to draw heavy coin collector attention.
The above coin values are from the 1965, 1985, and 2005 editions of A Guide Book of United States Coins, by R.S. Yeoman.
More Info About Barber Half Dollars
The Barber half dollar series has a rich history. For more information about this popular coin, check out these resources:
- Barber Half Dollar Coin Reference Guide
- The Authoritative Reference To Barber Half Dollars by Kevin Flynn
- Barber Half Dollar Coin Facts
I’m a roller coaster junkie, a weather enthusiast, a frequent traveler, and a numismatist. 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). I’ve also been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years. I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about coins, weather, travel, health, food, and living green… on a budget.