US Coins

Market Analysis: Beautiful Barber quarters see strong demand

Auction results can occasionally provide an incomplete picture of the market for given issue, but the recent Florida United Numismatists auctions show that demand remains strong for top-quality Barber quarter dollars.

Topping the series in Orlando at Heritage’s Jan. 9 Platinum Night auction was an 1897-S Barber quarter dollar graded Mint State 67+ by Professional Coin Grading Service, and bearing a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker that brought $43,200.

Though overshadowed by the 1901-S Barber quarter dollar, the 1897-S quarter has a low mintage of 542,229 coins, and Mint State populations are surprisingly low. PCGS and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. combined have graded fewer than 100 examples in Uncirculated grades, and of these, only 43 are in MS-65 or finer. The profiled piece features bold luster and “soft violet patina accented with splashes of russet,” with the cataloger further observing, “razor-sharp design detail and impeccable surface preservation.”

It was previously offered in Heritage’s May 2015 Part III auction of the Eugene Gardner Collection, where it realized $36,425. In Orlando in January, it improved on that.

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