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Barber Half Dollars – Key Dates & Varieties

The Barber Half Dollar, Quarter and Dime series were all named after Charles E. Barber, the Chief Engraver at the United States Mint. This half dollar series followed the Seated Liberty Half Dollar series which was struck from 1839 through 1891. 

The Barber Half Dollar depicts Miss Liberty, facing right, with the year below her. The motto “IN GOD WE TRUST,” is included on the upper periphery.

The reverse depicts a heraldic style eagle in the center, with arrows and an olive branch in her claws. Above the eagle are 13 5-pointed stars, with “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” on the upper periphery, and the denomination, “HALF DOLLAR,” on the lower periphery. 

To read more about the backstory behind this coin series, read our article on the history of the Barber Half Dollar.

Key Dates & Varieties

1892-O Barber Half Dollar

The 1892-O is a scarce coin struck during the Barber Half Dollar’s inaugural year. The New Orleans Mint only struck a total of 390,000 coins.

1892-O Barber Half “Micro O”

That inaugural year not only spawned a scarce date, but also a variety of that scarce date as well. The Micro “O” is the same as the Barber Dime of 1905, which also had an unusually small “O” mintmark. This scarce variety is rare and expensive in all grades. 

1892-S Barber Half Dollar

The San Francisco Mint coin from the inaugural year also qualifies as a scarce coin, even with 1,029,028 struck. A low grade example is several hundred dollars.

1893-S Barber Half Dollar

Once again, the San Francisco Mint struck a mere 740,000 coins resulting in yet another early scarce date of Barber Half Dollar. 

1896-S Barber Half Dollar

The 1896-S is scarce in all states of preservation, starting with the most well-worn examples. 1,140,948 coins were struck but not well-distributed.

1897-O Barber Half Dollar

The 1897-O Barber Half saw only 632,000 coins struck from the new Orleans Mint. It is another date that is scarce in all grades, including a well-worn specimen.

1897-S Barber Half Dollar

Even with just under a million coins struck (933,900) this is another Barber Half Dollar that was not well distributed. It is scarce in all grades including well-worn examples.

1904-S Barber Half Dollar

The 1904-S Barber Half Dollar had only 553,038 coins struck. These coins were not distributed well across the country. Many remained in US Mint bags. In the early 20th century, these big heavy silver coins were not in demand except in the Midwest and in California. Many remained undistributed and may have been melted.

1913 Barber Half Dollar

A mere 188,000 were struck at the Philadelphia Mint and many remained in bags, not distributed to the public due to low demand.

1914 Barber Half Dollar

An even smaller mintage was struck a year later at the Philadelphia Mint. Only 124,230 coins were minted and today they are scarce in every state of preservation. 

1915 Barber Half Dollar

New coin designs were on their way so only 138,000 of these were struck. Scarce in all grades. 

Barber Half Dollar Values

Date / MM Mintage Very Fine Abt Unc Ch Unc 
1892-O 390,000 $900 $1,250 $2,000 
1892-O Micro O Included $15,000 $25,000 $45,000 
1892-S 1,029,028 $775 $1,400 $2,500 
1893-S 740,000 $1,400 $2,750 $5,000 
1896-S 1,140,948 $1,200 $2,500 $3,500 
1897-O 632,000 $1,100 $3,000 $4,500 
1897-S 933,900 $1,000 $3,250 $3,850 
1904-S 553,038 $2,000 $10,500 $20,000 
1913 188,000 $700 $1,650 $2,000 
1914 124,230 $800 $1,750 $2,400 
1915 138,000 $500 $1,350 $2,500 
Common Date —- $130 $450 $975 

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