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Barber Quarters (1892-1916)

Barber Quarters

Designer: Charles E. Barber. Weight: 6.25 grams. Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper. Approx diameter: 24.3 mm. Reeded edge. Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, New Orleans, San Francisco.

Charles E. Barber designed the Liberty Head or Barber quarter, which was issued from 1892 to 1916. It shows a close profile of Liberty facing right. She wears a Phrygian cap with a laurel wreath around the edge of the cap. The ends of the wreath are tied with a ribbon, the ends of which extend to the first star. On her brow is a LIBERTY inscribed ribbon. Above her head is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. Six six-pointed stars are to the left and seven are to the right with the date below the truncation.

The reverse shows an heraldic eagle with wings spread holding a scroll in its beak. The scroll is inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM. The eagle has a Union shield on its chest. Its right talon holds a thirteen-leaved olive branch; its left holds a bundle of thirteen arrows. Above its head is a galaxy of thirteen five-pointed stars. The denomination QUARTER DOLLAR is below the eagle.

Charles E. Barber was the sixth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. He became Chief Engraver after the death of his father, William. He served from 1879 to 1917. He is best known for his designs of the “Barber” dime, quarter, and half dollar. In addition he designed the Liberty Head nickel, several commemoratives, and the Flowing Hair Stella pattern. Barber was born in London in 1840.

He came to the United States in 1852 with his family. His father became an engraver at the Mint in Philadelphia. Following Longacre’s death, William Barber became the Chief Engraver and made his son, Charles, his assistant. In 1879, Charles Barber became the Chief Engraver despite the fact the George T. Morgan may have been more qualified or at least more talented.




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