Barber Half Dollars
Barber Half Dollars.
A unique and interesting series, the Barber designed coinage has always been a collector favorate. As with many of the pre-1964, 90 percent coinage, this series suffered from many lower grade pieces being melted. The remaining pieces still offer a wide variety of grades and prices for collectors to chose from. Make sure you thoroughly evaluate your budget before taking this collection assignment on and as always, do not get in a rush! Avoid coins with major problems unless the coins’s cost is reduced to reflect the imparement.
Before beginning your collecting adventure in this series you should also brush up on the American Numismatic Association grading standards and consult a few reference guides, such as, “The Complete Guide To Barber Halves” by David Lawrence. Learning about the coin’s designer and mint acceptance process is always enlightening.
The Barber Half series ran from 1892 thru 1915 and includes many different mint issues. You may want to keep your collection small at first by only collecting the Philadelphia mint issues, later adding in the other mints. Try to focus on one grade, such as Good (G4) to start, but be open to making slight exceptions due to your budget limitations.
One thing you may run in to in as you search for lower grade items is that some may be cleaned or appear to have been cleaned. Try to avoid harshly cleans coins, regardless of the series unless you need a “temporary hole filler”. Spend the time to learn between cleaning and pocket wear from your local coin dealer or other club members.
To keep your collection goals in line with your budget, you may want to attempt to purchase the more expensive pieces first after you’re familiar with the basics of grading and condition. During your collecting quest, you’ll begin to notice the price differences on this series as grades begin to climb. Finding higher grades pieces will offer many more challenges, especially scarcity.
Good luck and have fun!