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When Did Barber Coinage Effectively Stop Circulating?

I was reading an article about Barber Coinage in Coin Values magazine and the author stated that
Barber's could be found in circulation into the 1950's. Is this right? Has anyone ever found a Barber
coin in change.

Btw, the Coin Values magazine (I know, I know) article regarding Barbers is excellent. Not so much for
the intermediate or advanced collector but absolutely for the collector that is considering the challenge
of a Barber collection. The author is Al Doyle.
imageimage
Collector of Early 20th Century U.S. Coinage.
ANA Member R-3147111
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    BearBear Posts: 18,954 ✭✭
    I just found a 1900-S Barber Half, about Fair,,in 24 dollars

    of loose halves from the bank. However, rather then

    circulating, the coin was probably culled from someones

    hoard of coins.
    There once was a place called
    Camelotimage
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    lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm fairly sure that is accurate. As late as the 1950s one could find Indian cents, even Shield nickels, and Barber coins in change, if what my father says is true. Dad says he even got a Flying Eagle cent back then.

    I've got a 1953 edition of Fell's US Coin Book with amusing mentions of what one could find in circulation at the time.

    Explore collections of lordmarcovan on CollecOnline, management, safe-keeping, sharing and valuation solution for art piece and collectibles.
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    lathmachlathmach Posts: 4,720
    I remember getting Barber coins in change in the 1950s.
    Mostly Dimes.
    You know, the 1950s wasn't all that far removed from the end of Barber coinage in 1916.

    Ray
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    WoodenJeffersonWoodenJefferson Posts: 6,491 ✭✭✭✭
    I don't know about Barber coinage, but I do know Indian Head cents, Buffalo nickels, Mercury dimes, Standing Liberty quarters, Walking Liberty halves were still in criculation in the 50's, as I seen all those coins with my own eyes.
    Chat Board Lingo

    "Keep your malarkey filter in good operating order" -Walter Breen
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    EdscoinEdscoin Posts: 2,028 ✭✭✭
    I remember finding Barber coins and even a couple seated dimes as a kid in 1964-65.
    ED
    .....................................................
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    BearBear Posts: 18,954 ✭✭
    The big change happened when the price of silver went up

    beyond the value of circulated silver coinage. Many of the circulating

    abarbers, proof sets and silver coins went to the old melting pot. When

    was that somewhere in the 70s.
    There once was a place called
    Camelotimage
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    ambro51ambro51 Posts: 13,608 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My Grandmothers 'from circulation' whitmans had about 15 liberty nickels, maybe a half dozen barber halves and a few dimes and quarters. She started collecting I think in the mid 40's

    As a kid in the early sixties...getting coin aware, my mother would get barber coins every so often from a florist on the other side of town. I still have them, an 08 half and a 10 D quarter.
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    OnlyGoldIsMoneyOnlyGoldIsMoney Posts: 3,299 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I recall helping my father count the church's collection money on Sunday afternoons in 1962-1963. I never saw any Barber coinage, Shield Nickels, Liberty Nickels or Indian Head Cents. It seems odd now but small change commonly found its way into the collection plate in the early 1960's - currency was more unusual then.

    Buffalo Nickels, Mercury Dimes, Standing Liberty Quarters and Walking Liberty Halves were all common in change. At least half the Buffalo Nickels and Standing Liberty Quarters were dateless.
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    WaterSportWaterSport Posts: 6,709 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Around 1968 I got a Quarter in AG at the local Deli.

    WS
    Proud recipient of the coveted PCGS Forum "You Suck" Award Thursday July 19, 2007 11:33 PM and December 30th, 2011 at 8:50 PM.
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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,335 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I accidently sold an '01-S quarter for scrap last week. image


    I believe most of the decent barbers started really disappearing during WW II. It was
    at this time that people started having enough money to set aside such coins. Ag's and
    culls took longer to vanish but they would have been pretty much gone by the late-'50's
    and none too common even in the mid-'50's.
    Tempus fugit.
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    CoinJunkieCoinJunkie Posts: 8,772 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I remember finding Barber coins and even a couple seated dimes as a kid in 1964-65. >>


    I don't think I ever saw any Seated coins, but Barbers were sometimes found in change before all silver started
    to disappear in 1965. Buffalo nickels were a fairly common find as well.
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    BearBear Posts: 18,954 ✭✭
    In 1962, I was in the Army and in my off time

    I was watching a poker game. There appeared

    a 1932 quarter in VF/ condition. After getting permission

    I exchanged another quarter for the 1932. I slowly turned

    the quarter over but alas, no D or S Mint Mark was seen.
    There once was a place called
    Camelotimage
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    OneCentOneCent Posts: 3,561
    Seems like I missed the heyday of being able to find "cool" and "interesting" circulating coinage by about 20 years.

    As a child of the 1970's the best that I remember were some decent date wheat cents. Indian Head Cents
    were the holy grail and basically were gone by this point. I never did find one, except in Pop's Maxwell House
    coffee can. All sorts of interesting things in there!
    imageimage
    Collector of Early 20th Century U.S. Coinage.
    ANA Member R-3147111
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    AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,538 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yep, that is true as far as I remember. Most of course were well, well worn but they were
    still circulating in my paper route days 1956-1958.
    bob
    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), bobinvegas1989@yahoo.com
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    21Walker21Walker Posts: 1,762 ✭✭✭
    I had a paper route in 1958. The weekly bill was 42 cents. Most folks would give a 50 cent piece and call it good. I got an equal number of Frankies and walkers, but no Barbers. For those that gave exact change, no Indians, but many merc's, buffalo's and a SLQ with no date once in a while. Never a silver dollar but plenty of silver certificates.....................Rick
    If don't look like UNC, it probrably isn't UNC.....U.S. Coast Guard. Chief Petty Officer (Retired) (1970-1990)

    EBAY Items
    http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZrlamir
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    PipestonePetePipestonePete Posts: 1,923 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Searched a lot of cent rolls in the early 70's with my buddies Gary Standish and Mark Drengson. Wheats were plentiful enough that we didn't keep any from the 50's unless they were San Fran's, 55-P's, or 54-P's which were mysteriously scarce. We only kept better grade 40's unless they were steel or S's. We also kept 47-P's which for some reason were tough to find. We were able to find many teens, twenties, and thirties. All three of us found 1924-D cents with Gary finding two. I used to hit the neighborhood grocery stores and would occasionally be able to take a silver Washington or dateless Standing Liberty quarter home. One time, while hunting through every roll of cents the tellers had, the president of one of the bank came over and asked us what we were doing. We explained that we were collectors looking for wheat pennies, etc. As he was standing there, I found a dime in a roll of pennies. He took it from me and exchanged it for a penny, telling me that "one of the tellers must have been short lastnight", or something like that. However, to his credit, he invited Mark and I to return on Saturday AM and he would show us his coins. We showed up the following Saturday and he invited us into his office. He produced a bank bag of coins which he poured out on his desk top. He told us to pick out anything we liked. I don't remember what Mark chose, but I took home a PDS set of 1931 Mercury dimes. Those were the good old days alright.
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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,942 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Back around 1952 or 1953 I went with my mother to the local butcher shop in Chicago (complete with sawdust on the floor). Even though I was only 5-6 years old at the time, I noticed she received an unusual coin in change. It was a 1913 Barber Quarter. That was the only Barber coin I ever saw in change until I received a 1909 dime in the early 1960's at an S.S. Kresge store.

    I have been told that Barber coins continued to circulate in Puerto Rico well after they had ceased circulating in the US proper.
    All glory is fleeting.
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    anoldgoatanoldgoat Posts: 1,493 ✭✭✭
    I had a paper route in '62 and '63. This was east of Asheville N.C. One lady on my route was putting together sets of Mercury dimes, Standing Liberty quarters, and Walking Liberty halves. I'd stop at her house last and she would go thru my change for anything she needed for her sets. Her friends would let her do the same and one of those friends operated soda machines. By the way, she started collecting in '61 when a friend of mine who collected cents had the paper route.

    Fast forward to 1968. I stopped by to visit her when on leave from the Marines to catch up. She pulled out her sets and they were complete. She had done this in the 60s, never going to the bank for for rolls, all from circulation and at face. Except for the 16-D Mercury. She found it in the days take from the friend that operated the soda machines. He wanted to give it to her but she talked him up to $20.

    There were Barbers from time to time but not many. Walkers, SLQs and Mercs were nearly as common as the current coinage of the day.

    Mike
    Alright! Who removed the cork from my lunch?

    W.C. Fields
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    InYHWHWeTrustInYHWHWeTrust Posts: 1,448 ✭✭✭
    I love reading posts likes the ones on this thread. Unfortunately, I was bornin 1963 and when I got the collecting bug around 1972, not much left in circulation but wheat cents.
    Do your best to avoid circular arguments, as it will help you reason better, because better reasoning is often a result of avoiding circular arguments.
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    A great uncle of mine was in the Pacific theatre during WW2. He saved a few coins that were used over there during the war that eventually made their way to me. It was all Indian Head cents and Barber dimes. That would have been 1943 to 1945. He was stationed on Tinian Island in the Marianas and saw both the Enola Gay and Bockscar, the B-29's that dropped the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    The 1898 Barber dime in my dime date set is the best Barber dime he brought back from Tinian. I put it in there on purpose to honor my great uncle.

    It makes sense they circulated that long. 1965 coins are still common nowadays....44 years later. Yikes. Am I that old now???image
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    << <i>I'm fairly sure that is accurate. As late as the 1950s one could find Indian cents, even Shield nickels, and Barber coins in change, if what my father says is true. Dad says he even got a Flying Eagle cent back then.

    I've got a 1953 edition of Fell's US Coin Book with amusing mentions of what one could find in circulation at the time. >>



    Yup, my Dad found a Flying Eagle cent in the lunch change box at work in the late '50s, early '60s as well. He saved it and gave it to me when I got interested in coins. Your dad is 100% correct, LordMarcovan.
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    BarbercoinBarbercoin Posts: 850 ✭✭
    Maybe the 50's is about right for the last of the Barbers. I never saw one back then. The only thing I remember seeing as a kid (60's) was mercury dimes, an occasional Walker and LOTS of wheaties. I sure miss the sound of the ole silver quarter hitting the counter top.

    WTB: Barber Quarters XF

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    orevilleoreville Posts: 11,782 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Silver coins in the early and mid 1960's:

    1916 + 44 years = 1960
    1965 + 44 years = 2009

    In 1960, when I actively started collecting dimes (which was a lot of money back then), I would find an average of 1 barber dime in every bank roll of dimes. Very similar to finding 1 1965 dime in the 2009 year.
    At least a third of the time, they were in Fair condition. I found one 1891 seated dime as well but it was in very bad shape.

    By 1962, I had accumulated about 70 barber dimes. As I recall, barber quarters and halves were much harder to find than the dimes. From 1962 forward, they seemed to vanish from circulation and bank rolls almost overnight. In 1961-1962 mercury dimes still co-existed 50-50 with roosevelt dimes but began to disappear rapidly as well.

    An unfortunate occurrence occurred in 1963 when my entire coin collection vanished. It was supposed to be in the safe that my parents had in their bedroom closet. I was 10 years old. I asked my father where my coin collection was. He looked again in the safe with me and did not know where it was. We then asked my mother who said: "those ratty old coins? I spent them." I was heartbroken and cried of days. My mother felt awful and from that point forward did what she could to get my coin collection back to where it was. Of course, back then I was just accumulating a lot of coins and put them loose in various small bags. But it made me more determined to rebuild my collection. I sold greeting cards in boxes to support my hobby. I also did small chores for neighbors for 25c and 50c at a time. In 1965, when I turned 12 years old, I started to work for the local newspaper called the Standard Star (in New Rochelle, NY) and collected lots of coins as I earned pretty decent tips in those days.

    I remember that in 1965 and 1966, the 1964 dated silver coins were still being released. I do not recall seeing any 1965 dated clad coins until December 1966 and then they started to flood the coin commerce making the silver coins almost disappear overnight.

    It was a wild and crazy time in 1967 when things were changing literally by the month, even , week. Everyone was in a frenzy trying to scoop up every silver coin in circulation or in the banks. By 1968, almost all silver coins had dissappeared.
    A Collectors Universe poster since 1997!
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    MFHMFH Posts: 11,720 ✭✭✭✭

    I have only found one Barber coin in a roll back in 1963... a 1908-P Dime in AU 58.

    Mike Hayes
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Coin collecting is not a hobby, it's an obsession !

    New Barber Purchases
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    yellowkidyellowkid Posts: 5,486
    I remember getting all those coins in change in the mid -late 50's, I remember SLQ's as pretty common and Walking Halves were as common as Franklins, an occasional Indian Head or Barber dime and of course tons of Buffalo nickels and Mercury dimes, I don't think they really ended until the silver craze hit in the 60's.
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    kruegerkrueger Posts: 807 ✭✭✭


    I found a 1902 barber half in change in around 1960. Sometimes an indian cent.
    Lots of early teen lincolns and and lots of mercury dimes, standing liberty quarters and walking halves in the early 60'S.
    Plenty of silver dollars at the banks locally or in change in Las Vegas,

    krueger
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    mr1931Smr1931S Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My understanding is that Barber coins stopped circulating in the '50's.

    The only Barber coin i ever found in circulation was a 1911 dime (VF)which i received in change in 1971.

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.-Albert Einstein

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    TrimeTrime Posts: 1,864 ✭✭✭
    I built a rather significant collection of: circulated Barber silver coins, liberty nickels, IH cents from change and rolled coins in the 1950s. I still have the coins and treasure them as much as my gem slabbed coins collected in another era. Collecting coud be fun with a a redbook, Whitman folders, and a few dollars to go to the bank to go through rolls . The bank (small town) would let me use the SD viewing room to sit and seek. Occassionally a bank teller would get some gold coins and offer them to me at a small premium. I have my original catalogue of holdings carefully listing value with entries like 35C. My most rare finding was a 1901-S quarter VF. I will look up the value listed in mynow dog eared hard bound inventory list of the time.
    Trime
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    ElcontadorElcontador Posts: 7,420 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm with Bear on this. You could find pretty much everything until people started pulling silver coinage from circulation. I didn't find much of it, but I did find a few Barber Dimes, Quarters, and a few Liberty Nickels and IHCs in change. No Barber Halves, though. All silver went to melt in 1980; they were just offering too much money for the stuff to turn it down. All I found were very well worn common dates. The nicest of the lot was in VG.
    "Vou invadir o Nordeste,
    "Seu cabra da peste,
    "Sou Mangueira......."
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    dorkkarldorkkarl Posts: 12,692 ✭✭✭
    i have found a single barber dime in circ over the last 15 years or so. it actually graded vg or so

    K S
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    BjornBjorn Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    My parents grew up in the 50s and 60s - they reported that in the 50s they could find lots of buffalo nickels, mercury dimes and that their parents often had walking liberty halves. Indian head cents were a rare find, as were barber dimes - I don't think they were ever allowed to handle anything larger! My dad in particular recalled that a lot of the older stuff started disappearing rapidly in the early 60s. My grandfathers, one of whom grew up in the late 10s and 20s and the other of whom grew up in the 20s and early 30s didn't remember real well what circulated - apparently barbers were pretty common up into the early 30s though and indian head cents were fairly common.
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    ambro51ambro51 Posts: 13,608 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think there were a lot more kids picking change in the late 50s up to the mid sixties...and if it HAD a date..it ended up in a Whitman. Lots of dateless stuff kept circulating, buffalos, SLQs, some pretty tnin dimes, they were just money to us kids, nothing special without a date.
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    I was finding Barber coins in the 1950's but very few. About 1959 a bunch was turned in at a bank where my neice worked and she snagged them for me.

    About 1960 I did a census on nickels and found about 1/3 were Buffalo and 1/3 were silver Warnicks. In 1964 the Buffalos were still circulating, altho probably much less than 1/3. A co-worker from California was absolutely amazed at that.

    I think it was in 1966, I noted clad dimes were quite scarce in the Boston area, but common In Bangor, Maine, part of the same Federal Reserve District.

    I am not positive, but I think at the end of the circulating half dollars, there were more Walkers than Franklins in circulation and very few Kennedy's in this area.
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    nankrautnankraut Posts: 4,565 ✭✭✭


    << <i>I don't know about Barber coinage, but I do know Indian Head cents, Buffalo nickels, Mercury dimes, Standing Liberty quarters, Walking Liberty halves were still in criculation in the 50's, as I seen all those coins with my own eyes. >>



    I agree. I also remember seeing an occasional barber dime/Q/H in 1956-1960 time frame.image
    I'm the Proud recipient of a genuine "you suck" award dated 1/24/05. I was accepted into the "Circle of Trust" on 3/9/09.
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    OnWithTheHuntOnWithTheHunt Posts: 1,175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My older sister helped count the weekly church collections in about 63-64 and gave me three common date Barber halves, all in Good. I'm pretty sure her boyfriend, who also collected coins, got the better ones. Occasionally would find a stray dime, never above G, when searching rolls, which were my main source of coins. Never found a key date or rare anything, but I was always excited to get anything that started with an 18--. V-nickels were slightly less uncommon.

    Proud recipient of the coveted "You Suck Award" (9/3/10).
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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,335 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I was finding Barber coins in the 1950's but very few. About 1959 a bunch was turned in at a bank where my neice worked and she snagged them for me.

    About 1960 I did a census on nickels and found about 1/3 were Buffalo and 1/3 were silver Warnicks. In 1964 the Buffalos were still circulating, altho probably much less than 1/3. A co-worker from California was absolutely amazed at that.

    I think it was in 1966, I noted clad dimes were quite scarce in the Boston area, but common In Bangor, Maine, part of the same Federal Reserve District.

    I am not positive, but I think at the end of the circulating half dollars, there were more Walkers than Franklins in circulation and very few Kennedy's in this area. >>



    This is the way I remember it.

    Mercs were more common than Roosies and there were no barbers, or indians, or V-nickels even
    in 1957 except a rare stray that was invariably cull.

    When the silver started disappearing it was anything interesting that went first. By 1964 the sil-
    ver was horribly picked over and even common coins like '39-S dimes were going. Sure you might
    see a '16 dime but it would be very heavily worn. Anything of any value was long gone.

    I have to believe that these other coins being reported found were strays that came out of some-
    one's change jar and hadn't really been circulating. It's one thing for a few people to spend some
    old coins that had been sitting around for years and it's quite another for these coins to be circulat-
    ing. It's about the same thing as finding a silver coin today; it has not been circulating the last 45
    years.
    Tempus fugit.
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    CoinHoarderCoinHoarder Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 9, 2024 7:04PM

    OLD THREAD ALERT

    The coins that I encountered in the early to mid 1960s were Walking Liberty Half Dollars, Franklin Half Dollars, Mercury Dimes, Wheat Cents and occasional War Nickels.

    I also encountered Standing Liberty Quarters and Buffalo Nickels. All of the SLQs and Buffalos were dateless. I do not recall ever getting one of these with a date.

    I never saw a Barber coin or silver dollar in commerce.

    When the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars were released, it was almost impossible to find one, as they were hoarded as fast as they were released.

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    jdimmickjdimmick Posts: 9,600 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember talking with my mother when I was a Jr collector, I asked her about what coins she would encounter when she was younger. She was born in 1933 in a small town in Michigan. She told me even at the age of 15-17 when she would go to the soda shop , general store and such, she remembered getting very few barber coins, and when she did, they were pretty worn out already. circa 1950

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    MapsOnFireMapsOnFire Posts: 191 ✭✭✭

    One Barber quarter, a well-worn 1916 D, turned up in my Dad's change while waiting in line for an LA Rams' game about 1963. No others.

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    stevefromnestevefromne Posts: 129 ✭✭✭

    In 2005 while half dollar hunting, a bank had 4 rolls. All were 90% and saved during WW2, There was a single 1945 and many in the early 40's, all AU's. There were a couple of decent early WLH's, a 1918-S and 1919-S, both would probably grade F15, the 19-S might get VF20 on a good day. There were 4 Barbers, an 1898, 1900, 1911, and 1912, all G-VG. Amazing that someone would simply turn them in at the local bank.

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    rnkmyer1rnkmyer1 Posts: 525 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @oreville: your old post about your mom getting rid of your “ratty” old coins brought back a similar memory. Only it was baseball cards - some 1200 of them ended up in the trash. My mom was cleaning things out & thought they were “junk”!

    “The thrill of the hunt never gets old”

    PCGS Registry: Screaming Eagles
    Copperindian

    Retired sets: Soaring Eagles
    Copperindian

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    johnnybjohnnyb Posts: 35 ✭✭✭

    I’ve never found a barber in circulation but wonder if you buy a real, legit, family-owned never searched siilver lot you could see how many were around in the 1960s.

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    orevilleoreville Posts: 11,782 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I did find very few Barber dimes in the early 1960’s but they were at best good graded barber dimes. No barber quarters or halves.

    A Collectors Universe poster since 1997!
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    ambro51ambro51 Posts: 13,608 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 11, 2024 5:38AM

    As a kid collector pre 1964 I found a 1910 D barber quarter and a 1908 half in my moms change. Still have both, but my talent of polishing coins with cleanser has rendered both “very cleaned”.

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    DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,247 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lathmach said:
    I remember getting Barber coins in change in the 1950s.
    Mostly Dimes.
    You know, the 1950s wasn't all that far removed from the end of Barber coinage in 1916.

    Ray

    1959 is closer to 1916 than we are to the bicentennial in 1976 today.

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

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    tcollectstcollects Posts: 841 ✭✭✭✭

    my wife found a cull 1910 dime and a cull 1857 FE cent in a coinstar

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    GaCoinGuyGaCoinGuy Posts: 2,721 ✭✭✭✭

    @jdimmick said:
    I remember talking with my mother when I was a Jr collector, I asked her about what coins she would encounter when she was younger. She was born in 1933 in a small town in Michigan. She told me even at the age of 15-17 when she would go to the soda shop , general store and such, she remembered getting very few barber coins, and when she did, they were pretty worn out already. circa 1950

    Which brings the question....why did Barbers seem to wear so much faster than other series? Was there something different about the process?

    imageimage

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    kruegerkrueger Posts: 807 ✭✭✭

    I received a 1902 Barber half in change in the early 1960s
    few Indian cents still floating around. Was a poor young teenager so was too broke to filter coins.

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    SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,479 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember buying "junk" silver in the early 1990's and Barbers were not uncommon finds - usually dimes. Now you are lucky if you can score a well worn Merc in junk silver.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
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    OwnerofawheatiehordeOwnerofawheatiehorde Posts: 1,521 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GaCoinGuy said:

    jdimmick said:
    I remember talking with my mother when I was a Jr collector, I asked her about what coins she would encounter when she was younger. She was born in 1933 in a small town in Michigan. She told me even at the age of 15-17 when she would go to the soda shop , general store and such, she remembered getting very few barber coins, and when she did, they were pretty worn out already. circa 1950

    Which brings the question....why did Barbers seem to wear so much faster than other series? Was there something different about the process?

    I would assume it was just the increase of use compared to other types. The roaring twenties were called that for a reason.

    Type collector, mainly into Seated. Young Numismatist. Good BST transactions with: mirabela, OKCC, MICHAELDIXON

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