The Barber Dime is named for its designer Charles E. Barber. The series was produced from 1892 to 1916 until being replaced with the Mercury Dime. During the twenty five year run, coins would be struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, New Orleans, and San Francisco Mints.
The obverse design of the coin featured a bust of Liberty facing right. She wears a cap with a headband inscribed LIBERTY and a wreath of laurel intertwined. The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surround, with the date appearing below.
On the reverse is an ornate agricultural wreath containing corn, wheat, tobacco, oak, and maple leaves tied in a bow at the base. The denomination ONE DIME appears in the middle. The mint mark, if any, appears below the denomination.
While the series has often been overshadowed by the more popular Mercury Dime, collecting Barber Dimes presents many challenges and potential rewards. Throughout the series are a number of lower mintage issues which command premiums at all grade levels. The traditional key date for the series is 1895-O Dime, with a mintage of 440,000 pieces. These issues are perhaps not as expensive as they might be if the series had a larger collector base.
A significant rarity of the series is the 1894-S Barber Dime, which was struck for uncertain purposes at the San Francisco Mint. The coin had a reported mintage of just 24 pieces, with an even smaller number of confirmed survivors. Since the coin was struck in proof format, it is generally not considered as a necessary coin to complete a collection. Rather, it has become a trophy coin pursued by collectors or investors with significant funds at their disposal. Recently sold examples have commanded prices of more than one million dollars.
Collectors pursuing a complete set of circulation issue coins by date and mint mark will find a challenge. Despite being struck for a period of twenty five years, there are seventy four pieces necessary for a complete set. Those seeking to acquire coins in higher mint state grades may need to work on their set for many years.
This site provides additional basic information about Barber Dimes with a listing of mintage figures for all issues of the series. A selection of coins available for sale which have been authenticated and graded by PCGS or NGC is also included to help you on your collecting journey!