The Barber Coins – American Federal

Barber Coins

The Time Is Right For Rare Coins

There are some great similarities in today’s market to that of the 1980’s. Precious metals have moved and investors are looking for alternatives. Collectibles typically benefit by this. But things such as art, diamonds and gems are so esoteric and expensive that most investors can’t and shouldn’t get into them. The rare coin market, on the other hand, has been stable and is more liquid and easier to value than any of the above collectibles.

— For many years, I refused to recommend rare coins and I challenged dealers to show me where I was wrong. —

In September 2014, I attended the Long Beach Coin Show and visited with several of my colleagues. One friend was determined to change my mind. He talked about several areas of the market, but when he started showing me the populations of these certain Barber Coins, I was shocked!  I compared prices in today’s markets and I was hooked.  I realized these coin’s graded populations had NOT risen like so many other areas of the market.  Yet, the prices for these Barber coins were still low.  So, on a relative basis they are a great value.

The next thing I had to look at was the availability of the Barber coins.  While I certainly would have trouble buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth, I could certainly buy nice looking coins here and there in the market place.  Then it hit me. These are truly historic, classic U.S. Coins that nearly any collector or novice investor would recognize.  They are some of the easiest rare coins to find for buyers and in the current market I could pick and choose what I bought.

The beauty of the Barber coin is that you can move slowly and buy a coin for as little $2,995, less than what most charge for a common $20 St. Gauden in MS66 (which has over 48,200 coins graded) and get a coin that is one of only 674 graded over the past 29 years.  You can spend $60,000 and put together a one of a kind complete set of Barber Dimes in Proof 67 or $140,000+ for a set of Barber Quarters or Halves, which would be a truly unbelievable set of rare U.S. coins and one that would be extremely hard to duplicate.

— For the first time in 20 years I’m telling my clients
the time is right for rare coins but it is only for a small select part of the market. —

Barber Coins – A Short Overview

Barber coins have been one of the most popular areas of the coin market for at least 70 years.

These classic coins are named for the designer Charles E. Barber and were produced as dimes, quarters and half dollars from 1892-1916.  They are one of the most striking designs of the classic U.S. coins and have the reputation of being collected by serious collectors.  In fact, the rarest coins sell for millions of dollars when offered for sale.

They were issued at the turn of the last century when coin collecting really was not a common hobby, so few coins were saved in pristine condition.  Many issues have populations of less than 900 coins and the last couple years of mintage’s dropped to 380-450 respectively.

1914 PR67 Barber Half-Obv 300x350

1914 Barber Half PCGS PR67

— Why have thousands of dollars tied up in the same coins every other investor owns? If you already own coins it may be worth trading into the REAL rare coins. —


Many investors have $50,000 to over $1 million tied up in so called “rare coins” that have been so over promoted the past 5 years. Things like Gold and Silver Eagles in MS70 or modern coins in high grade. These coins are really not collectors’ items yet so many investors believe they are sitting on rare portfolios of coins. I believe there will be a renaissance in the rare coins market in the very near future. To benefit, it is imperative to be in the right kinds of coins. While there are ways to profit in Modern coins, most investors end up with the most common and uncollectable coins at the highest prices.

The population of different Barber coins are much smaller than I even guessed. The population refers to how many coins of a certain grade were graded by PCGS or NGC. — Barber dimes, quarters and halves exist in super low quantities. Many of the high grades have populations in the low double digits. In high grade Proof condition, there are only several hundred of each denomination graded and that takes into account 24 different dates. — A look at the numbers confirms how few of these pieces of Americana were actually saved 100 + years ago. Also, keep in mind, the population number I am using is for the entire run of coins from 1892-1916.

Limited Risk

No one knows where prices could go, but the prices on the Barber coins have not fluctuated wildly for two decades. That tells me that current prices are reasonable to collectors. More importantly these coins have not been promoted and priced inflated by dealers. They have enjoyed slow somewhat steady appreciation over the past decade simply from the collectors. That means they are not likely to see any big drops in price. Unlike some areas of the coin market, they have not been manipulated by false demand. Coins that are subject to dealer promotions often have big moves in both directions. They can move up quickly when a promotion begins but can fall just as quickly when a promotion ends.

If you are interested in assembling a complete 24 coin set, please give me a call and I would love to talk about it with you. I will personally choose coins for you and guarantee they will be a “show worthy” set of coins that few others could ever assemble.

Give us a call at 1-800-221-7694 if you are interested in owning a truly historic U.S. coin.