Designer: Charles E. Barber
Diameter: 17.9 mm
Metal Content: 90% silver, 10% copper
Weight: 2.5 grams
Mint Mark Location: Just below the wreath on the reverse
Liberty 'Barber' Dime
Kimball insisted it would be possible to find able designers in America and it was not
necessary to go abroad. He commissioned a panel of ten of the leading artists and
sculptors (including Barber and Saint-Gaudens) to judge which of the designs for the
new coinage would be the best. The panels first act was to rejected the terms of the
competition as proposed by Mint officials.
Edward O. Leech succeded Kimball as Mint Director, but Leech was well aware of Kimball's
problems. Leech avoided the problems by simply directing the chief engraver to draw
new designs which, of course, is what Barber wanted all along. Barber's first design
was similar to a British coin. Leech rejected it and proposed a Liberty head similar
to several French coins of the Third Republic. Barber designed a Liberty bust wearing
a Phrygian cap. The reverse was retained from the Seated Liberty series.
The Barber dime offers collectors a real challenge because of the large number of
key and semi-key coins in the 74 coin set, and also because of the many sub-varieties.
There are 13 coins with fewer than 1 million coins each for circulation.