Share Your Passion For Collecting Barber Coins

March 12, 2012

by Dan Flood (Barber Coin Collectors’ Society)

As is the case with many numismatists, my wife and son do not share the same passion that I have for collecting coins, specifically, Barber quarters and halves.  In fact, both have little to no interest at all, with my coin collecting hobby.  When there’s no one around to share your passion and enjoyment for these beautiful coins, this can make the hobby a very lonesome proposition.

When it came to purchasing new Barber’s for my collection, I always followed the same old routine.  I would consolidate all of my new coin purchases that were made over about a 2 to 3 week period and then proceed to drag my coins into work, where at lunch time I would pay a visit to my local safety deposit box.  My new Barber coin purchases were never held or viewed “live” by anyone, other than myself, before being stashed away to the abyss of my safety deposit box……never to be seen again.

After working at my company for some time, I became very friendly with a fellow who shared my passion for hiking, and as it turned out, collecting coins.  From the early conversations that I’d had with Rick, it sounded like he was more of an accumulator, than a true collector who had goals in mind for his collection.  He mentioned owning a bunch of Walking Liberty half dollars, a single U.S. gold coin – a later date Eagle, and some other coins.  Through our conversations on early U.S. coinage, I found Rick to be a very knowledgeable numismatist, much more knowledgeable than what his coin collection might suggest.

Rick soon learned of my passion for collecting Barber quarters and halves.  He knew that I was working on completing sets of Barber quarters and halves, the majority being in the VF – XF grade range, with an occasional AU coin thrown in for good measure.  Being unfamiliar with the nuances of the Barber series, whenever I discussed Barber coinage with him, or talked about my latest Barber acquisition, he seemed to show a keen interest in the subject.  Since this time, it’s become apparent, that what limited knowledge of Barber coinage I may posses, a lot of this knowledge has rubbed off on Rick.

My old routine suddenly had a new step put into the routine.  Along with my coins, I also made it a point to bring in my magnifying glass to work.  This way, Rick could get a better look at my latest acquisitions, before they headed off to the safety deposit box.  I actually look forward now to this new ritual……..having my coins critiqued, in hand, by someone else.  He’s very familiar with my tastes in Barber’s and is very honest with his assessment of any coin that he views, (is the coin graded properly, does it have nice toning and eye appeal, does it have a decent strike, etc.).

If initially, I hadn’t shared my passion for collecting Barber coins with Rick, this wonderful opportunity to share my hobby with someone else may never have come up.  After viewing many of my circulated Barber quarters and halves, Rick had mentioned to me that he never realized how beautiful the design of these coins are, and how attractive nice, original examples can be.  Who knows, if Rick gets into collecting coins on a more serious level…….maybe we’ll have another Barber fanatic on our hands.

About the Barber Coin Collectors’ Society

The Barber Coin Collectors’ Society (BCCS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the knowledge of coins designed by Charles E. Barber, Chief Engraver of the Mint from 1880 to 1917. The BCCS was founded in 1989, and has hundreds of members from all over the United States.

Visit the Barber Coin Collectors’ Society at


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