US Coins

Inside Coin World: Why is the 1900-O Barber dime so scarce?

The 1900-O Barber dime did not have an especially tiny mintage and yet it is difficult to find higher-grade, problem-free examples.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Every weekly and monthly issue of Coin World has content exclusive to the print and digital editions, including columns and features.

Here is a preview of three of those exclusive articles in the Oct. 21.

Coin Values Spotlight:1900-O Barber dime

In terms of its original mintage, the 1900-O Barber dime should not be scarce, and yet in higher grades, the coin can be rather expensive. Paul Gilkes examines the coin in his “Coin Values Spotlight” column in the Oct. 21 issue. 

When looking for the coin, with an output at the New Orleans Mint in 1900 of 2.01 million coins, “it is a challenge to find an example that has not suffered indignities from improper and excessive handling or other damage,” Paul writes. As a result, high-grade examples that are problem-free can be quite expensive.

To learn more about the 1900-O Barber dime, see Paul’s column, found only in the print and digital editions of the Oct. 21 issue of Coin World.

Numismatic Bookie: An electrical supplies catalog?

One would normally not think about adding an electrical supplies catalog to a collection of numismatic literature, but as “Numismatic Bookie” Joel J. Orosz writes, one supplier’s catalogs are suitable for such a collection. 

Frank Stewart was a Philadelphia supplier of electrical goods — wire, switches and more — who in the early 20th century decided to expand his business by purchasing some existing properties. The Frank H. Stewart Electric Company was headquartered next door to the first Mint of the United States, and Stewart bought the properties for his expansion. 

To learn what he did with the former 1792 Philadelphia Mint buildings and how he branded his business, see Joel’s column in the Oct. 21 Coin World.

Readers Ask: Is this doubling significant?

Two readers sent us images of two different coins — a 1925 Winged Liberty Head dime and a 1968-S Lincoln cent — with doubling on the obverse designs that is visible to the naked eye. Both readers wanted to know whether they had discovered something new and important.

As I explain in my “Readers Ask” column in the Oct. 21 issue, both coin exhibit the “push” form of machine doubling. Machine doubling is completely unrelated the kind of doubling found on doubled die coins, which presumably the two readers hoped they had found. Furthermore, machine doubling of this kind is very common on Winged Liberty Head dimes and San Francisco Mint Lincoln cents of the 1960s and 1970s.

To learn more about the doubling found on the two coins and whether it adds a premium,see my article in the digital and print editions of Coin World.

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