GreatCollections is currently offering interested numismatists a rare opportunity to acquire one of the finest certified examples of the Barber Quarter Dollar series. This 1913-S Barber Quarter, graded as MS 67+ by PCGS, is a beautifully toned and lustrous coin that earned not only the PCGS gold shield designation, but also the CAC holographic verification sticker. Collectors should be aware that bidding for this important coin ends in 15 days on Sunday, May 29, 2022, 05:07:24 PM Pacific Time (8:07 Eastern).
At the time of publication, the highest of 29 bids stands at $26,000 USD.
With a subtle gold toning on both its obverse and reverse, this exceptionally high-grade rarity is simply dripping with luster and eye appeal. Interestingly, it displays a very-early-state die crack that moves from the bottom right tip of Liberty’s neckline towards the bottom lobe of the 3 in “1913”, ending at the denticled rim under the date’s second “1”.
Despite much larger issuances from the Denver and Philadelphia Mints, the San Francisco facility struck only 40,000 quarters in 1913, which makes this type one of the three main key dates of the series along with the 1896-S and the 1901-S. This extremely low mintage was in part due to the looming economic recession that gripped the nation between 1913 and 1914. This recession, which ended partly due to the onset of World War I, resulted in the creation of the Federal Reserve System.
Although the 1913-S does have the lowest mintage of all three key dates, it appears that slightly more were originally saved – which has resulted in approximately 70 examples surviving in MS 65 or better.
This can be a bit deceiving, however, especially since there are only five examples that have been certified and graded as MS 67+ or better. NGC has certified one MS 67+ and one MS 67* (* = exceptional eye appeal), while PCGS has graded two at MS 67+ and one at MS 68. This makes any coin above MS 66 exceedingly rare and difficult to acquire.
While the lone top population MS 68 example holds the current auction record of $172,500, set in January 2001, public auction records show the MS 67+s have dramatically increased in value over the past decade. While MS 67+s in December 2011 and September 2018 both earned approximately $46,000, a comparable example in a more recent March 2020 sale hammered at $84,000.
First issued in 1892, the obverse of Charles Barber’s new quarter was dominated by an updated and elegant Liberty Head motif. Lady Liberty faces left and wears a Phrygian cap, which symbolizes freedom, that is adorned with a laurel wreath. The word LIBERTY can be seen on a small band above Liberty’s forehead. The legend IN GOD WE TRUST appears above Lady Liberty and the date (1913) below. These are connected on the left by six stars and on the right by seven stars. This coin’s obverse design, which would later be called the “Barber Quarter” after its designer, was also used on three of the major denominations for several decades: the Half Dollar, the Quarter Dollar, and the Dime.
For the Reverse, Barber adapted the Great Seal of the United States. This includes a heraldic eagle with outstretched wings that is holding an olive branch and arrows, in its left and right talons respectively. The eagle is holding a fluttering banner that reads E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out Of Many, One”). Above this banner are 13 stars representing the 13 original colonies. Surrounding the main device is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the denomination (QUARTER DOLLAR). The eagles’ wings overlap the legend at the E’s in both UNITED and AMERICA. Since this particular coin was struck at the San Francisco mint facility, there is a small “S” mintmark below the Eagle’s tail feathers.
The edge of the 1913-S Barber Quarter dollar coin is reeded, as are all other issues of the type.
Bidding ends on Sunday, May 29, 2022, 5:07:24 PM Pacific Time (8:07 PM Eastern).
* * *
To search through GreatCollection’s archive of over 600,000 certified coins the company has sold over the past eight years, please visit the GreatCollections Auction Archives.