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Barber Coins: An Inexpensive Way to Start Collecting Coins

Barber Coins: An Inexpensive Way to Start Collecting Coins

6 Mar 2017

1915 Barber Half Dollar 90% Silver

Coin collecting is a fun and rewarding hobby to get into. It can even progress into a career, a business, or a source of employment elsewhere. Coin collecting is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, and it is engaging and exciting for those who are involved in it. Coin collecting is often passed on generation to generation, with parents teaching their kids about coin collecting, and those kids then teaching their kids about it. It is often a familial or generational thing.

But what of the youngster or old buck who wants to get into coin collecting, but who doesn’t have a mentor to show them the ropes at first, and to tell them how to collect coins? What about the prospective collector who loves coins, has always gotten a kick out of them, but doesn’t know where to even begin in the collecting process?

A great place to start is with Barber coins. The title of a “Barber Coin” is given to any dime, quarter, or half dollar that was minted between 1892 and 1916 and that were designed by Mint engraver Charles E. Barber.

1915 Barber Half Dollar 90% Silver [Back]The interesting thing is that, with Barber coins, the dime, quarter, and half dollar literally all have the same design on the obverse of the coin. The only way to tell them apart is by the size of the coin and by the reverse design of the coin, which is different also. Actually, it’s very different on the dime, but it is the same on the quarter dollar and half dollar except for the words “Quarter Dollar” for quarters and, “Half Dollar” for halves.

The Barber coinage is technically a "Liberty Head" design (a depiction of the classic Liberty seen on much of American coinage) but they have been called "Barber" dimes, quarters, and halves by collectors for decades now.

For some more information about these coins, Barber coinage has been widely collected during the past fifty years and then some. They are a staple and foundation in fact for American coin collecting. These are a great entry level coin to buy. The prices that they generally go for are agreeable, and there are enough of them out there that a new collector can start to build up a good collection of them and still possibly have some money left over for some other coins.

The Price is Right

1905 P Barber Quarter 90% SilverReally what it comes down to for Barber coinage is that the price is right for prospective new buyers.Take the 1905P Barber quarter. Great coin. Appreciated and always in demand in the coin market, yet a new collector can buy one for only about $20.00-$25.00, depending on the grade of the coin.

The simple truth of the matter is that Barber coins are currently under-priced. We can really see that these coins are a steal when we compare their current prices (especially when adjusted for inflation) to their price almost three decades ago. There is today's price (affordable for most new collectors) compared to the 1989 highs (not really that affordable). For the data on it, most Barber coins are selling for less than a full 50% or more of their 1989 high price point. Now, that’s not always the case, as some are selling for as little as 20% to 30% of their older 1989 highs. Still though, the prices for these coins are down, but because demand is still in a good place for them, it’s easy to buy and sell them in the coin market.

There are a lot of these coins to go around, and unlike some other coins, it’s pretty easy to get your hands on a decent number of Barber coinage. These are a great starting place for a coin collector, especially as they amplify the message of coin collecting, which is to collect old, historical, beautiful relics of American history.