Near the end of the 19th century, a new design was adopted for the three smallest silver denominations. This included the Barber Quarters, which were struck from 1892 to 1916. Mintages across all issues vary, with the series marked by the presence of three significant key dates. For anyone trying to complete a set, these three coins are the most difficult or costly to acquire.
The obverse design of the Barber Quarter features the head of Liberty. She is facing right and wear a cap with most of her hair bound beneath. The cap has a laurel wreath and a band inscribed “Liberty”. The design is completed with “In God We Trust” above, the date below, and an arrangement of thirteen stars. The reverse design contains a heraldic eagle, with wings spread. The eagle had an olive branch, arrows, and shield, with a scroll in its beak reading “E Pluribus Unum”. The inscriptions “Untied States of America” and “Quarter Dollar” surround, with once again thirteen stars completing the design.
For the Barber Quarters series:
- There were a total of 74 different circulation strike issues. These were minted at either Philadelphia, Denver, New Orleans, or San Francisco.
- The total number of coins struck across all date and mint mark combinations is 264,670,792, representing an average mintage of 3,576,632.
- Three low mintage key dates from the San Francisco Mint punctuate the series and provide a challenge for collectors. These are the 1896-S, 1901-S, and 1913-S. The lowest mintage issue is the 1913-S at 40,000 pieces. However, the most difficult coin to acquire is the 1901-S Barber Quarter, since fewer were saved from circulation.
- The highest mintage for the series is the 1899 Barber Quarter at 12,624,000.
Barber Quarter Mintages