Third ‘Guide Book of Barber Silver Coins’ Review (Part-2)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was described by Bowers as follows: “Because of Franklin’s polio-related health problems, Eleanor would assist him heavily on the campaign trail leading to the White House...” Roosevelt married Eleanor in 1905.

Roosevelt was 39 when he got sick in 1921. Though initially classified as polio, some modern researchers believe it was Guillain–Barré disease. Other renowned sufferers include Johnny Cash, Andy Griffith, and Julia Child.

Chapter 4, “Barber Dimes,” is the book's main focus and what most buyers want. This chapter, like the two following, covers its subject from 1892 to 1916 (1915 for Barber Half Dollars). Grading is a key issue in the chapters. This appearance follows the now-familiar pattern of photos of coins in a grade and text discussing design aspects with varied wear levels.

I'll explore the 1914-S, one of my favorite Barber quarters, and how each date/mintmark combination is structured. The circulation-strike mintage is 264,000, the same as the 1916-D Mercury dime. After the mintage, enlarged photos of a high-grade 1914-S obverse and reverse follow.

Bowers then estimates Mint State's date availability. The 1914-S is a low-mintage rarity after the estimates. Before discussing noteworthy qualities, circulated grade estimates of the date's availability are given. Bowers advises finding a sharp one because they vary.

After each date, Bowers presents a table comparing 2nd and 3rd edition values. Coin values have increased for the 1914-S, especially higher-grade coins. Bowers concludes each chapter with proof Barber coin photos. Proof mintage and availability are listed for each year of manufacture. Market values are also contrasted between editions.

Appendix A covers Charles E. Barber's life and work, including coin and medal photos. Appendix B contains “The Real Story of the 1894-S Barber Dime,” attributed to expert numismatist Jeff Ambio by Bowers. Those unfamiliar with the story will like this account.

Appendices cover Barber coin mints, directors and superintendents between 1892 and 1916, errors, and Barber himself. Like a work of this caliber, each chapter features lengthy notes, a selected bibliography, and a several-page index.

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