US Coins

Price of worn-rimmed 1901-S Barber quarter doubles from '01 to '14

A 1901-S Barber quarter dollar in Good 4 condition brought $4,112.50 at Heritage’s Feb. 27, 2014, sale of the Bently Collection. In 2001 the same coin brought $1,725.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

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:

The coin: 1901-S Barber Quarter, Good 4

The price: $4,112.50

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:

1901-S Barber quarter graded Good 4 and sold for $5,875 'nearly perfect for the grade'

Cleaning of 1901-S Barber quarter graded Good 4 likely dropped coin's selling price $1,000 to $1,500

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