The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve
Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Oct. 20 issue.
The 1901-S Barber quarter dollar has a reputation as the rarest
regular issue 20th century coin, with a low mintage of 72,664 pieces.
Most examples today are in low grades and the issue enjoyed heavy
circulation. While collectors benefit from having a wide-range of
well-circulated examples to select from, with many in grades of Fair
and About Good, the coins often have impairments such as cleaning or
damage. Mid-range coins in grades around Fine are scarce.
Here is one of three that represent the different price and
quality levels within the Good 4 grade:
1901-S Barber Quarter, Good 4
The story: A problem-free Good 4 1901-S
Barber quarter dollar is elusive and expensive. This one brought
$4,112.50 at Heritage’s Feb. 27, 2014, auction of the
collection of Donald E. Bently. The description stated: “The obverse
exhibits outlined definition over virtually all major features, the
reverse rim is worn into the peripheral devices. Both sides are
originally toned with remarkably smooth features for a quarter that
saw this extensive wear.”
Although collectors hope for
fully defined rims on both the obverse and reverse of coins grading
Good 4, they often have to settle for a reverse where a few letters
merge in the rim, such as on this coin.
As evidence of
how much the market for this coin (and problem-free key-date coins
generally) has risen over the past decade, this same coin in the same
PCGS slab sold in an Oct. 4, 2001, Heritage auction for $1,725.
Read the rest of Steve Roach's Oct. 20 Market Analysis:
Barber quarter graded Good 4 and sold for $5,875 'nearly perfect
for the grade'
of 1901-S Barber quarter graded Good 4 likely dropped coin's
selling price $1,000 to $1,500
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