The Barber Quarter was struck by the U.S. Mint from 1892-1916, and this coin was among the earliest. It was struck in the 1800’s between 1892 and 1899. The coin was produced in the classic beauty of 90% silver, a level of precious metal that has not been seen in regular U.S. coins for over half a century. The coin is known as the Barber Quarter because it was created by Charles E. Barber, who was Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint and was one of the most famous and prolific coin designers in United States Mint history. The obverse depicts Liberty with a triple headdress of cap, laurel wreath, and a tiny coronet inscribed with the word “Liberty” – symbols of freedom and liberty. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle to represent the United States of America.
The Barber series of silver coins from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s was the last “family” of silver coins that featured similar designs; the portrait of Liberty also appeared on Barber Dimes and Half Dollars. This coin was minted over a century ago, and it is increasingly hard to find. Millions of silver coins like this disappeared from circulation in the 1960’s and later when the price of silver skyrocketed; the coins were melted for the silver bullion, leaving just a fraction for today’s collectors. America in the late 1800’s was seeing the first automobiles on city streets, but manned flight was still a few years away. Electricity was starting to play a vital role in people’s lives through electric lights and rudimentary appliances; Thomas Edison made moving pictures a reality; and the phonograph brought music into people’s homes. Presidents in this era were Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, and William McKinley.