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Barber Dimes – Key Dates & Varieties

The Barber Dime series, otherwise known as the Liberty Head Dime series, is named after its designer Charles E. Barber. He was the Chief Engraver for the United States Mint at the time, and designed the new dime, quarter, and half dollar designs, which replaced the previous Seated Liberty series. That series was designed by Christian Gobrecht, and was minted between 1837 and 1916.  

All three designs were inspired by French silver coins of the era. They each depict a bust of Miss Liberty, facing right, on the obverse. On the upper periphery of the coin are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” the word “LIBERTY,” is prominent on the headband that Miss Liberty is wearing, and the date is underneath her.  The reverse of the dime coin design has a wreath encircling the denomination, “ONE DIME.”   

Barber’s quarter dollar and half dollar coins used the same design for their obverses, but their reverses shared the design of an Eagle holding a banner in its mouth on which is inscribed ”E PLURIBUS UNUM,” with 13 stars above.  

For more on the backstory of this series, be sure to read our article covering the history of the Barber Dime.

Key Dates & Varieties

1892-S Barber Dime

This inaugural year Barber Dime from the San Francisco Mint saw only 990,710 coins struck. This essentially guaranteed that this coin would become a key date and be difficult to find. 

1893 ‘3 over 2’ Overdate

This is the first variety in the series, and it is an overdate. The top of the under-digit, the “2,” may be visible under the “3” on the top. It is worth many times more than a common Barber Dime.

1893-O Barber Dime

The actual mintage of this particular Barber Dime is only 1,760,000, making it scarce in all grades. 

1894-O Barber Dime

The 1894-O Barber Dime had a mere 720,000 coins struck at the New Orleans Mint. This is a scarce coin even in a well-worn Good grade, and can be worth 10x the price of a simple, common date.

1894-S Barber Dime

This is the undisputed king of Barber Dimes. With a total reported mintage of only 24 coins, many question if it was intended to be minted at all. A rumor is that 24 coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint in order to balance the books of that branch mint that was long on silver and short two dozen coins. 

Another theory is that the superintendent of the San Francisco Mint had these coins struck to be given to dignitaries in Congress, although this has not been confirmed.  

Other rumors had the superintendent of the Mint strike coins for himself and 7 friends, each party receiving three coins. This superintendent gave his coins to his daughter who spent one for a dish of ice cream. 

Whatever the actual occurrence, the coin is one of the great American rarities of all time.  

1895 Barber Dime

With a mintage of 690,000 coins, this date continued the low, under 1 million coins, mintages prevalent in the 1890 coins. Unlike its New Orleans (“O”) Mint counterparts, this coin generally comes well struck. 

1895-O Barber Dime

This coin, with an incredibly low mintage of only 440,000 coins, is often weakly struck. But it is the second most expensive of all issues, after the 1894-S. It is truly rare in all grades.

1895-O Barber Dime, in XF-40

1895-S Barber Dime

The 1895-S Barber Dime has a little over 1.1 million coins struck. Well-struck and not difficult to find in lower grades. Uncirculated grades are significantly tougher to encounter.

1896-O Barber Dime

The 1896-P is the only issue of 1896 that has a million or more coins struck – the P Mint actually had 2 million struck. With 610,000 coins struck it is a scarce coin. Like all “O” Barber Dimes, the strike is mushy. Finding a strong strike is quite difficult.

1896-S Barber Dime

This coin is the lowest mintage of all 1896-dated coins with only 575,056 coins struck. The strike is generally strong.

1897-O Barber Dime

The 1897-O had 660,000 coins struck. Another mushy New Orleans Mint strike.

1901-S Barber Dime

With just under 600,000 coins struck, this date and mintmark is the first coin struck in the 20th Century with rarity and value in the Barber Dime series. It is the 5th most expensive of all Barber Dimes on this list. 

1903-S Barber Dime

This date and mintmark has 613,300 examples that were struck. It is generally a well-preserved and well-struck date for this later Barber Dime issue. 

1904-S Barber Dime

There were 800,000 of 1904-S Barber Dimes struck. This coin is a bit more expensive than the common dates, but somewhat readily available, especially in higher grades.

1905-O Barber Dime, Micro “O” Variety

One of the only variety coins in the entire Barber Dime series. With a total mintage of 3,400,000 coins of this date and mintmark, a decent supply of these micro “O” variety coins is available.  

1913-S Barber Dime

This is the last of the better dates in the series that went on another three years. The total mintage of this better date and mintmark totaled 510,000 coins.  

Barber Dime Values

Date/MM Mintage Very Fine Abt Unc Ch Unc 
1892-S 990,710 $275 $375 $800 
1893 3 Over 2 Included $500 $1,500 $2,200 
1893-O 1,760,000 $175 $350 $650 
1894-O 720,000 $400 $1,600 $5,000 
1894-S 24 / 9 Known Branch  Mint Proof $1,440,000 
1895 690,000 $550 $700 $1,000 
1895-O 440,000 $2,200 $5,500 $14,000 
1895-S 1,120,000 $250 $500 $1,200 
1896-O 610,000 $475 $1,400 $3,000 
1896-S 575,056 $400 $650 $1,500 
1897-O 666,000 $450 $1,000 $1,500 
1901-S 593,022 $600 $1,600 $2,400 
1903-S 613,300 $650 $1,350 $1,850 
1904-S 800,000 $300 $650 $1,650 
1905-O Micro O Included $450 $2,500 $5,750 
1913-S 510,000 $300 $750 $1,500 
Common Date —— $20 $125 $225 

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