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Obverse of 1896-S Barber Quarter Dollar     Reverse of 1896-S Barber Quarter Dollar


1896-S BARBER
QUARTER DOLLAR

PCGS No: 5615

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 188,039
Proofs: 0

Designer: Charles E. Barber

Diameter: 24.3 millimeters

Metal content:
Silver - 90%
Copper - 10%

Weight: 6.25 grams

Edge: Reeded

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

    

Images courtesy of David Lawrence Rare Coins

Authentication tips:
Obverse 1: The 1 is nearly perfectly centered over a denticle, and the 8 is centered over the left side of a denticle.

Reverse 1: The boxy-shaped S is above the tops of R and D, and is just slightly closer to D than R.

Obverse 2: The 1 of the date is centered over the right side of a denticle, and the 8 is centered over a denticle.

Reverse 2: The S is lower (about even with the tops of the letters) and slightly closer to R than D.

For a more in-depth look at the diagnostics of authentic 1896-S Quarter Dollars, click here.

Notes:
"1896 is a good year for Barber quarters.

1896-S is one of the famous "three keys" to the set. Though long known to be a key date, the 1896-S was underrated in mint state until recently. Only 38 mint state coins are listed in the pop reports [as of 1999] and some of these undoubtedly represent resubmissions. When you also consider that not all of those certified will have nice "eye appeal," you see why attractive specimens bring very strong premiums. A select few 1896-S's come deeply proof-like. For these, you can throw away the sheets!

Note that 1896-S is extremely rare above MS 65! In MS 66 and above it is far scarcer than 1901-S.

Both 1896-P&S normally come with a strong strike."

The finest Uncirculated example graded by PCGS is a single MS-66.

Recent appearances:
Net MS-62.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 1230, unsold

Choice Brilliant Uncirculated and very close to the Gem category.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 776, plated, unsold
 
EF-40 Cleaned.  Ex-  Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale", October 5-7, 2000, Lot 6785,
not illustrated, sold for $2300.00

EF-40, Cleaned.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 5571, not illustrated, sold for $862.50

About Very Fine.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 777, plated, sold for $718.75

VF-20.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1648, illustrated, sold for $1,092.00

Good-6.  Ex-  Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale", October 5-7, 2000, Lot 6784, not illustrated, sold for $310.50

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

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

Relevant collector organizations:
Barber Coin Collectors' Society