Barber Quarter

1898 Barber Quarter (Obverse)
1898 Barber Quarter (Reverse)

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Q. David Bowers (edited and updated by Mike Sherman): Charles E. Barber’s Liberty Head motif, commonly referred to as the “Barber” style, was used on quarter dollars from 1892 through 1916. The obverse motif of Miss Liberty is similar to that found on the dime and half dollar and features her facing to the right, her hair in a Phrygian cap, wearing a laurel wreath with LIBERTY on a small band above her forehead. Six stars are to the left, and seven to the right, IN GOD WE TRUST is above and the date is below. The reverse is a adaptation of the Great Seal of the United States and depicts a heraldic eagle holding in its talons an olive branch and arrows, although the branch and arrows are transposed from the position used on the quarter (and other silver and gold coinage) nearly a century earlier. Above the eagle is a galaxy of 13 stars. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and QUARTER DOLLAR surround.

For type set purposes, the numismatist will have no trouble finding coins from Good to Fine. Very Fine coins are scarce, and Extremely Fine pieces are quite scarce, at least in the context of more recent issues. AU and Uncirculated pieces are scarcer yet and superb Uncirculated coins are rare. The date collector will have their work cut out for them, as the 1901-S quarter is a major 20th century rarity. The 1896-S and 1913-S are also keys to this series, and costly in any grade.

Proofs were produced in all years from 1892 to 1915 and are available in proportion to their original mintage, which typically varied between 500 and 900 pieces annually.

-- Reprinted with permission from "United States Coins by Design Types - An Action Guide for the Collector and Investor" by Q. David Bowers