Origin: These "Barber" dimes, named after their engraver, were produced from 1892 to 1916. They're composed of 90% silver, and feature the head of Lady Liberty.
Barber dimes were minted in Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, and their mintmarks "D," "S," and "O" are located below the wreath knot on the reverse side (Philadelphia did not use a mintmark). The coin's low relief made it an efficient choice for production, but it faced criticism for being unimaginative. Millions of Barber dimes were produced over their 25-year run, but many were melted into bullion during a surge in silver prices in the 1970s and 1980s.
Charles E. Barber was the Chief Engraver for the United States Mint from 1880 until his death in 1917. The Mint Act of 1890 mandated a redesign of the dime, quarter, and half dollar, and the United States Treasury initially invited ten US sculptors to submit designs. The competition was later opened to the public, but none of the nearly 300 entries were deemed satisfactory, resulting in Barber being tasked with redesigning the eligible coins. This led to the creation of the Liberty Head design.
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