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Obverse of 1901-S Barber Half Dollar     Reverse of 1901-S Barber Half Dollar


PCGS No: 6491


Circulation strikes: 847,044
Proofs: 0

Designer: Charles E. Barber

Diameter: 30.6 millimeters

Metal content:
Silver - 90%
Copper - 10%

Weight: 12.5 grams

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: "S" (for San Francisco) just below the eagle's tail on the reverse


Images courtesy of David Lawrence Rare Coins

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-66.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8415, illustrated, sold for $14,950.00

Extremely Fine.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 1053, not plated, sold for $517.50

A very good year for Barber halves. Two of the three issues are among the top five regular dates in the series.

1901-O&S come by their rarities in different ways. 1901-O is generally not well struck and has the higher mintage. In the 1970's and up to the time that certification began (1986) this date was thought to be the toughest in the set. Before that however, in the 1940's and '50's, 1901-S was thought to be the scarcest. Considering the lack of data, these were both good estimates.

1901-S is 3rd among regular issues, just like it was back in 1991. This coin comes well struck with nice luster and it is very surprising that so few have been graded in MS 65 and better. Low mintage alone can not account for its rarity. Evidently, the early coin dealers couldn't get their hands on any original rolls to put away for their customers. This is one of our favorite dates."1

The finest example graded by PCGS is a single MS-67.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, April 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

1. "The Complete Guide To Certified Barber Coinage" by David & John Feigenbaum