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America The Beautiful Quarters
Liberty Bust (aka "Barber") Quarter 1892 - 1916
Like the Mercury dime, the Franklin half dollar, the Walking Liberty half dollar,
the Lincoln cent and most other coins, the name we give to a coin is based upon
the design rather than the designer. Normally, the designers initials on the coin,
are the only reference to the designer’s identity. Only four U.S. coin designs are
known by their designer’s names. The Gobrecht dollar and the Morgan dollar are two
coins that are know for their beauty. The Augustus Saint-Guadens twenty dollar is
a third that is know for its beauty, But, the Barber coins (dime, quarter and half
dollar) are known as such because of the controversies of Barbers office.
When William Barber (chief mint engraver) died in 1879, his son Charles Barber was
chosen by President Hayes to fill the position. In 1887, James P. Kimball noted in
the Mint Directors annual report that, he believed, the coinage of the United States
should be updated.
Designer: Charles E. Barber
Weight: 6.25 grams
Diameter: 24.3 millimeters
Content: 90% silver 10% copper
Mint Mark Location: Below the eagle's tail on the reverse.
Liberty Bust Mintage
The Treasury Department, in spite of the advice of Charles Barber, organized a
competition to produce a new design. Disaster was the obvious out come when they
choose Barber, Augustus Saint-Gaudens and engraver Henry Mitchell to judge the
contest. Each judge believed that he was a better designers than any of the
contestants. In the end, Charles Barber, with the support of the new Mint Director
Edward O. Leech, was chosen to do the design work which was what he had wanted all along.
Liberty Bust "Barber" Quarter
Libertys portrait facing right is similar to George Morgan’s design on the
dollar. Around the Liberty cap is a laurel wreath tied by a bow. She has a small
band in the front which displays the word LIBERTY. Inside the rim are the words
IN GOD WE TRUST, the date at the bottom, with thirteen six-point stars, six to the
left and seven to the right.
The reverse displays a eagle with outstretched wings
and legs, the left claw clutching an olive branch and the right a bundle of arrows.
The eagles beak holds a ribbon with E PLURIBUS UNUM on it. Around the rim are
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA at the top QUARTER DOLLAR at the bottom. There are hirteen
five-point stars above the eagle.
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U.S. Barber Quarters