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    MS67+ 1913-S Barber Quarter, Tied for
    Second Finest Graded at Either Service

    1913-S 25C MS67+ NGC. The 1913-S Barber quarter is the last of the three well-known, low-mintage keys to the set, but it shares little else in common with its earlier counterparts. The first key, 1896-S, had a mintage that was not especially low, judging by the other two, at 188,039 coins. But it appears to have largely escaped notice during an era when collecting by date and mintmark had yet to catch on. Augustus Heaton's treatise on Mint Marks had debuted only three years before, in 1893, but it would take the release of the 1909-S VDB cents for many collectors to begin seeking mintmarked issues in a serious way.
    The 1901-S had a much-lower mintage at 72,664 coins; the few high-grade pieces that survive appear to have been more the product of happenstance than design. Most of the population is beyond well-circulated -- even FR2, AG3, and Good 4 examples are eagerly sought-after by series fans.
    By the time the 1913-S Barber quarter was released, however, the aforementioned 1909-S VDB cents had spurred interest in mintmarked-issue collecting. It also appears that a cadre of numismatists in the San Francisco area were dialed in to the various low-mintage issues that the Western mint would put out during the era. The 1913-S quarter's ultralow mintage of 40,000 pieces appears to have been known from the outset, and apparently a few original rolls were laid by. Between NGC and PCGS combined, nearly 100 submissions of the 1913-S grade MS63 or finer, although duplications are inevitable. Most of those cluster in the MS63-MS65 range, above which the certified populations thin markedly.
    The present MS67+ specimen is one of two submissions in this grade at NGC, and there are none finer at that service; a single MS68 PCGS example is the sole finest certified (11/11). The obverse of this piece is bright and practically devoid of patina. The reverse, while similarly strong by luster, has a pale sky-blue and peach overtone in portions of the fields. The strike is uneven on the stars around Liberty, and the eagle's right (facing) talon is soft, though the portrait is better-defined. This coin was struck from a late state of the dies, as were many high-grade survivors: A crack runs from the 3 in the date across the tip of the bust to the nearby star, and another descends from Liberty's earlobe. Two tiny reed marks near the truncation would not attract notice on any other coin, but here, they are the only barrier to an even finer grade.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 23ZW, PCGS# 5666)

    Weight: 6.25 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2011
    8th-11th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 32
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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