US Coins

Whitman to release new edition of Barber silver coins book

Whitman Publishing will release the updated third edition of the “Guide Book of Barber Silver Coins,” covering the dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars of 1892 to 1915–1916, by Q. David Bowers, in August.

Image courtesy of Whitman Publishing.

Whitman Publishing will release the updated third edition of the Guide Book of Barber Silver Coins, covering the dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars of 1892 to 1915–1916, by Q. David Bowers, in August.

The 400-page book is volume 20 in the Bowers Series of numismatic references. It will debut at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh, Aug. 8 through 12.

The subject of the book is the silver coinage — dimes, quarters, and half dollars — designed by U.S. Mint chief engraver Charles E. Barber and minted from 1892 to 1915 (half dollar) and 1916 (dime, quarter dollar). As Whitman states, “These were ‘workhorse’ coins of American commerce. They circulated for decades, and could be found in pocket change into the 1950s.”

Whitman adds: “Today Barber’s silver coins are among the most popular classic U.S. series, with many enthusiastic collectors. The Barber Coin Collectors Society (BCCS, online at is one of the hobby’s most active and fastest-growing specialty groups.”

Updates in the third edition of the book “include a grade-by-grade comparison of historical and current market values for every Barber silver coin; new historical photographs; Barber coin love tokens; research on the 1894-S dime; and more.”

BCCS president John Frost and other members of the Society reviewed the second edition and contributed new research on die varieties, estimated field populations, and other areas.

In the Guide Book of Barber Silver Coins Bowers shares insightful study by date and Mint mark for every issue of the three denominations (277 major varieties), in-depth historical background, and detailed data analysis. His text is illustrated by more than 800 photographs, engravings, and other images. Bowers tells collectors how to evaluate quality, determine value, understand the market, and make smart purchases to build significant collections. He takes the reader on a journey through the Barber coin years — what he calls “the most interesting and evolutionary period in American history,” from the Gilded Age through the Progressive Era.

Bowers provides a wealth of information including mintages, illustrated grading standards, date-by-date estimates of the total number of pieces existing for circulated and Proof issues, values in up to 12 grades, and keys to collecting based on availability and sharpness of strike. Year-by-year historical background details the landscape of American life (and the state of the coin-collecting hobby) in the time of the coins’ design and production.

The book includes “A New Look at Charles Barber,” by John Frost, which publishes Barber family photographs and other archives recently revealed. “This information corrects many popular misconceptions about Charles Barber, his personal life, and his relationships with George T. Morgan and President Theodore Roosevelt,” according to Whitman. Bowers also explores the mints, Mint directors, and Mint superintendents responsible for Barber coinage; and off-center Barber coins and other rare and valuable errors. Professional numismatist Jeff Ambio contributed an illustrated history of “The Real Story of the 1894-S Barber Dime,” a legendary rarity, of which only 24 were minted. And medallic-arts historian Dick Johnson shared a richly detailed five-page catalog of United States medals and related work by Charles Barber, including Assay Commission medals, Indian Peace medals, Presidential medals, military medals, and many others.

After the show, the new book will be available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, and online (including at

Connect with Coin World:  
Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Access our Dealer Directory  
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

Community Comments