US Coins

1892-O Barber half dollar from Verner Collection

The dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars designed by Charles Barber and first struck in 1892 have long been popular with collectors. Heritage offered a nice selection of all three denominations in its recent U.S. Coins Signature Auction in Dallas where it offered the Gary Verner Collection. 

Verner’s nephew recalled, “He wasn’t just a coin collector, he was a numismatist, and each coin was selected with great care.” 

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A favorite was an 1892-O Barber half dollar that had been called a Branch Mint Proof striking by scholar Walter Breen in a 1979 letter, who observed that it compared favorably to Philadelphia Mint Proof coins of that year.

When Verner submitted it to Numismatic Guaranty Corp., it came back Uncirculated Details, Improperly Cleaned. Heritage wrote, “We think that, if asked whether to resubmit the coin, Gary would answer with a single word. ‘Nah.’?” 

Heritage compared the Verner coin against one graded Specimen 66 by NGC, which it offered in 2013, and concluded, “we believe that the [Verner] piece was struck with different dies,” before concluding that it was prooflike with the possibility that it was struck as a presentation coin. 

Previously offered at Heritage’s 2011 Central States Numismatic Society auction where it brought $12,650, Verner’s example sold for a bit less during the Nov. 8 Premier Session, bringing $10,800. 

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