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(1892-1916) Liberty Head “Barber” Half Dollar

CoinTrapTM Commentary: The Liberty Head half dollar became known as the “Barber” half dollar based on the name of its designer and chief engraver, Charles E. Barber.

The obverse of the coin features a Liberty “Head” derived from Greek and Roman models, having a wreath about the head and a cap situated atop the head. 13 stars are prominently featured, which represent the thirteen original colonies of the United States.

The reverse of the Barber half dollar features the familiar bald eagle with outspread wings and holding in its talons an olive branch and arrows, signifying peace and war.  A banner is held in the eagle’s beak, which includes the saying e pluribus unum. The quality of these words assists numismatic graders in determining the grade of this coin because of the tendency for these words to rub down in circulation.

The Barber half dollars were used heavily in circulation, and even though it is difficult to find these in good condition, even the worn ones can be worth a considerable amount of money. The most valuable Barber half dollar is the 1904-S.  The 1892-O is also very valuable.

Coin Value: What is the value of your Liberty Head “Barber” half dollar coin? You guess it, it depends.  The main factors that will determine the value or worth of your Liberty Head Barber Half Dollar are these: (1) your coin’s grade, (2) whether it is a proof coin, sometimes referred to as deep cameo or DCAM, (3) the mint mark (e.g., S for San Francisco, O for New Orleans, D for Denver, and P or blank for Philadelphia), and (5) scarcity/demand. Regarding your coin’s grade, it has become a standard in the field of numismatics (coin collecting) to grade coins on a point-scale from 1 (poor) to 70 (perfect). This is also referred to as the “Mint State” or just “MS” for short. Click here to find the up-to-date estimated value of your Barber half dollar from the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS®), which takes the factors mentioned above into account*.  If you do not know the grade of your Liberty Head “Barber” coin, you can take it to your local coin dealer and ask that they have it graded at one of the three major coin grading services.

Liberty Head “Barber” Half Dollar Coin Mint Years: 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916

Liberty Head Barber Half - Obverse

Liberty Head Barber Half - Reverse

Obverse - Liberty Head “Barber” Half Dollar

Designer: Charles E. Barber

Reverse - Liberty Head “Barber” Half Dollar

Designer: Charles E. Barber

United States Mint images. CoinTrap.com is not affiliated with the United States Government in any way. Click here for terms and conditions.

    The United State Government initially asked ten well known artists of the time to submit designs for a new half dollar.  The artists, however, requested compensation for their time, and so the U.S. Government instead opened it up to a public contest. Unfortunately, none of the designs that were submitted were of suitable quality, and the the job for designing the new coin ultimately fell to Charles Barber.  The new design was first minted and entered circulation in 1892.  

* CoinTrapTM is not affiliated with the PCGS®.  By clicking on the link above, you are opening a browser window containing content provided by a third party website and you will be subject to any terms and conditions as set forth on that website.

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