The 'Wild West' Silver Half Dollar: The Barber
The Barber half dollar is one of the forgotten backbones of the American westward expansion. Much like the Morgan silver dollar, these silver Barbers were the daily currency of American's venturing into the "Wild West." They soon became an integral part of any journey west. This was because the further west a settler travelled, the more he had to rely on the use of silver and gold coins to buy the goods they needed to continue their journey west.
This dependence on silver and gold coins came about largely due to the fact that they were worth their actual weight in precious metal! Their rich history and heavy use have resulted in very few of these special half dollars surviving in quality collectors condition, and those that have are already safely tucked away into someone's collection! Lucky for you, we recently came across several rolls of these rare Barber half dollars while at the coin show in Baltimore and can offer them for our lowest price ever!
The Barber Half Dollar
The Barber half dollar was introduced in 1892 and was issued until 1915. It is named after it's designer, Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint; Charles E. Barber. The obverse design features Liberty adorned with a cap and wreath. This figure was inspired by classical Greek and Roman models. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle similar to that featured on the Great Seal of the United States.
The Barber half dollar was struck at four U.S. Mints: Philadelphia (no mint mark), New Orleans (O mint mark), San Francisco (S mint mark) and Denver (D mint mark). The coin is minted from .900 silver.
A Literal Piece of history at over 105 Years old!
At the turn of the 20th century, the coin in everyone's pocket was the Barber Half Dollar. This resulted in the vast majority of Barber half dollars remaining today to be extremely worn down pieces, if they can be found at all! But that's not the only reason they are hard to find, just take a look at the mintage figures!
The Barber half dollar average yearly mintage from 1892-1915 was around 1.8 million, and while that might sound like a lot, it pales in comparison to the ever popular Franklin half dollar which averages about 13 million per year! In fact, there was only a single year (1955) in which the Franklin half dollar DIDN'T have a mintage of at least 4 million! By comparison these silver Barber half dollars are incredibly rare collector favorites!