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1901-S Barber Quarter, MS65
Cornerstone of the Series

1901-S 25C MS65 NGC. Chief Engraver Charles Barber designed four denominations of circulating coins, the nickel through the half dollar. Most issues from his designs have mintages above 1 million pieces, yet every Barber series has one legendary rarity. The Liberty nickel boasts the 1913, of which only five examples are known. The great rarity of the Barber dime series is the 1894-S, with nine known survivors. A Barber half collection is stopped by the 1892-O Micro O, a formidable rarity in any grade, though some half dollar collectors manage to convince themselves it that it can be excluded from a date and mintmark collection; thus, the 1892-O Micro O is valued less than the 1901-S quarter, which Barber specialist David Lawrence referred to as "the king of all Barber coinage."

The mintage of the 1901-S quarter is remarkably low; only 72,664 pieces were struck. This is contrast to the 1900-S and 1902-S productions, which each exceeded 1.5 million pieces. Among the Barber issues struck for circulation, only the 1913-S quarter has a lesser mintage. The 1913-S, however, was saved to a greater extent, possibly due to growth in the number of West Coast collectors between 1901 and 1913, or perhaps due to dealer Wayte Raymond, who was known to hoard high-grade examples of current issues.

Most certified examples are in well-worn grades, Very Good or lower. The condition rarity of the 1901-S, in addition to its overall rarity, confirms the importance of the fully lustrous Gem offered here. It is lightly toned, with hints of gold limited to the rims. The strike is penetrating, and the preservation is impressive. The reverse is near-pristine, while the cheek and obverse field have only minimal marks. A true "cornerstone coin" for the series enthusiast. Census: 3 in 65, 3 finer (8/13).
Ex:The Southwest Collection / Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 2/2008), lot 412.
From The Owen Collection, Part II.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 23YR, PCGS# 5630)

View all of [The Owen Collection, Part II ]

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Auction Dates
September, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 14
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