Shown above is an 1892 Barber (or liberty head) quarter from the Philadelphia mint. This was the first year of the series, which continued to 1916. An almost identical obverse design was launched the same year for the dime and half dollar. All were the creations of Charles E. Barber, who also takes responsibility for the design of the liberty nickel. His initial (B) appears along the truncation of the portrait, near the left side. The Barber quarter has rarely been viewed as a particularly innovative or attractive coin, but it did, along with the dime and half dollar, function as the monetary workhorse during a period of strong US economic recovery and growth. Fading were the economic tribulations following the Civil War, and by the turn of the century, the United States came to be recognized as a world power.
The Barber quarter, along with the contemporaneous dime and half dollar, were the first US coins to be issued simultaneously from the four mints of Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Denver. At 6.25 grams and 900 fine silver, it contains 0.18084 ounces ASW. Part way through the first year of issue, the reverse design was altered slightly. The featured coin is the first version (Type I), in which the left eagle wing tip covers only the left part of the letter E. In Type II coins (shown is the same view on a 1892-O), the wing tip is shifted slightly to cover more of the E. Type I is considered the less common variety, and is seen only on issues from the Philadelphia mint.
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