Monday, June 4, 2012

Barber Dime (1892 - 1916)


1913 Barber Dime
The Barber Dime was designed by Charles E. Barber - chief engraver of the Mint - who also designed the Barber Quarter and the Barber Half Dollar. All three types of coins were released in the same year - 1892. On the obverse, the Barber Dime features Miss Liberty facing right, with her hair in a large cap and wearing a laurel wreath, with the word LIBERTY in tiny letters in a band above her forehead. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds Liberty, while the date is below. The reverse features a large wreath enclosing the denomination ONE DIME. There was no room for the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on the coin, so it was omitted. When collecting Barber Dimes, collectors are looking for the very scarce 1894-S dime. Of only 24 minted (all as proofs), only a dozen are traced. After the ultra-rare 1894-S, the scarce 1895-O will be the date collector’s biggest challenge. The rest are common dates that are relatively easy to acquire in any desired grade from Good to AU. Brilliant Uncirculated coins are more difficult to find than the Uncirculated dimes. Proofs were minted each year from 1892 to 1915 for collectors, and these can be obtained with some searching.

The circumstances when the Barber Dime came to existence were unstable. Mint Director James Putnam Kimball stretched his authority to new limits when he irrationally condemned the 1878 Morgan dollar and the 1883 Liberty Head nickel as "illegal." He then convinced the Treasury to introduce a new bill to change coin designs only after current designed have been in use for 25 years. Since the Treasury announced that they have little money and time to give towards the new coin design, the situation was favorable for chief engraver Charles E. Barber, who took over the project to prepare the designs himself. According to historians, his design was simple and dull. His obverse design of the dime was a mirror image of the Morgan dollar head, with much of Liberty's hair cropped off and the rest concealed in a large cap. Furthermore, Barber left the reverse design as it had been since 1860, with a plain laurel wreath. Barber's initial B appeared at the truncation of Liberty's neck.

The Executive Coin Company is one of the top coin dealers in United States who offers a variety of Barber Dimes in different grades and condition. Our selection includes the popular 1895-O key date, the 1895-S, the 1901-S and 1903-S key dates dimes and other early date Barber Dimes. All Barber Dimes we offer are expertly photographed with great care and accuracy to help you make the best choice for your collection!