US Barber Half Dollar  1892 to 1915
US Barber Half Dollar 1892 to 1915

The design of Charles Barber dominated US coins around the turn of the 19th century. His depiction of Miss Liberty and heraldic eagle design appears on dimes, quarters, and half dollars of the period. These coins are highly sought by collectors, especially specimens that have little wear.

Nick's 1908D coin is a *common date* for the series. That means most dates and mint marks have catalog values that are the same as Nick's coin:

worn (numismatic 'good'): $10 US dollars catalog value
average circulated: $100
well preserved: $200
fully uncirculated: $550

Coins that are severely worn or damaged will only be worth their silver content. Each Barber Half Dollar has a silver content of 0.362 troy ounces. By looking up the current value of silver on a site like, (around $23.50 at the time of this writing) we can find the coin's silver value by multiplying with the silver content: 0.362 x $23.50 = about $8.50 US Dollars.

Be sure you understand what 'catalog' means. Read our Terminology page.

Describing what numismatic 'good' means gets us into the slippery topic of coin grading. Coin collectors use the word 'good' to indicate a coin that is very worn, but not worn too much. It must qualify as a worthy collectible piece to rate the grade of good. Most coin collectors insist that all coins in their collection carry a minimum grade of good, or G-4. But they also define three more grades below G-4:

About Good, AG-3
Fair, FR-2
Poor, PO-1

Most Barber halves that are still around grade below G-4. They have been worn to a frazzle. If your coin grades PO-1 or FR-2, it is worth only the silver value.

The definitive online dissertation on coin grading is by Scott A. Travers. Our favorite online resource for grading US coins is CoinAuctionsHelp.

In addition to the *common dates and mint marks* above, there are also *better* dates and mint marks in the Barber Half series. These carry values more than the common coins. If you have one of these, it is worth 100s of dollars, in G-4 condition or better. In the list below, values after the date give approximate catalog value for coins in average circulated condition. Coins with more wear are worth less. Coins with less wear are worth much more. Problems, such as scratches, spots, stains, cleanings, nicks, gouges, and similar damage will render the coin almost valueless.

1892O: $650 in average circulated condition
1892S: $550
1893S: $500
1896S: $450
1897O: $800
1897S: $650
1898O: $450
1901S: $450
1904O: $300
1904S: $900
1913: $450 (cannot have mint mark)
1914: $550 (cannot have mint mark)
1915: $400 (cannot have mint mark)

There are also some *decent dates.* These are not worth a premium above *common dates* in the first table if they are heavily worn, but, in average circulated condition and above, they are less common and worth more. The value after the date in the list below is the approximate catalog value of an average circulated coin of that year and mint.

1893: $150 in average circulated condition (cannot have mint mark)
1893O: $250
1894: $200 (cannot have mint mark)
1894O: $200
1894S: $150
1895: $150 (cannot have mint mark)
1895O: $200
1895S: $230
1896: $175 (cannot have mint mark)
1898S: $175
1900O: $175
1901O: $250
1902S: $175
1903O: $150
1903S: $150
1905: $300 (cannot have mint mark)
1905O: $250
1905S: $150
1907S: $240
1908S: $150
1909O: $150
1910: $200 (cannot have mint mark)
1913S: $150

These above catalog values are for coins in average circulated condition free of problems like cleanings, holes, stains, spots, scratches or anything of that sort. Coins of the years and mint marks listed above in better condition than average circulated will be worth considerably more. In worse condition, use the 'common dates' table at the top of the page.

Do you see how nice the coin in the picture looks? Even though the coin is well worn, it still looks nice. This is called 'eye appeal' and it appears only once in a while. Collectors pay premiums for good eye appeal.

Coin: 822 , Genre: United States
Requested by: Nick, Mon, 27-Jul-2009 03:00:28 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Thu, 09-May-2013 16:18:03 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Fri, 20-Nov-2015 14:02:06 GMT
Requester description: 1908 On face side: In god we Trust, stars lining both sides. The face itself is worn only a few details within the face but still a good silhouette. Back side: Eagle in the middle, banner in its mouth but words are barley legible.United states of America and Half dollar are along the side.
Tags: barber half dollar dollare dolls doller dol dollars god we trust stars star lining line few eagle banner flag mouth barley united america gods goddess deus deum dei diety deity godess devm deo dom divine dios trvst starrs lined lines bar bars eaglets egals egal eagles eagel colours blanket flags colors banners bannered amero americas american ameria ameri amirica amerique americana amer americans usa liberty ribbon arrows arrow arrowheads hawk falcon leaves leaf starburst coat shield arms greenery leafs boughs liafy bush leave leaved bough leafe leafed leafy leavs foliage burst sheild coats shiled crests chevrons shild escucheon insignia arm crested crest chevron creast shields escutcheon


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