US Coins

Market Analysis: Nearly perfect Proof 1899 Barber quarter dollar

This Proof 69 Deep Cameo 1899 Barber quarter dollar is essentially perfect. It realized $90,000 in Heritage’s Nov. 19 auction of the Bob R. Simpson Collection in Dallas.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Silver Proof coins of the late 19th century are often technical marvels, as seen in this 1899 Barber quarter dollar from the Bob R. Simpson Collection graded Proof 69 Deep Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service that sold for $90,000 on Nov. 19.

Heritage called it “among the finest-known proof Barber quarters of any date,” noting, “The quality of the preservation matches the beauty of the strike, with liquidlike fields contrasting against razor-sharp, frosty design elements.” Heritage concluded, “This coin appears as though it was struck yesterday.”

Numismatic Guaranty Corp. has graded another 1899 Barber quarter dollar Proof 69 Ultra Cameo, while PCGS has placed the Proof 69 Deep Cameo grade on only one other Barber quarter in the series. Proof 1899 Barber quarter dollars from the Philadelphia Mint are particularly prized for their deep mirrors and frosty devices.

John Dannreuther explained the Proof 69 grade in the classic text, The Official Guide to Coin Grading and Counterfeit Detection, writing, “This coin will appear perfect to the unaided eye. Upon magnification, one or two minute imperfections (extremely minor hairlines, a previously hidden lint mark, a flake from the planchet, etc.) will be evident,” saying that coins in this grade must have a full strike and superb eye appeal, as seen in the subject quarter.

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