Charles E. Barber

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Charles E. Barber
Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint
In office
August 31, 1879 – February 18, 1917
Preceded by William Barber
Succeeded by George T. Morgan
Personal details
Born Charles Edward Barber
(1840-11-16)November 16, 1840[1]
London, England
Died February 18, 1917(1917-02-18) (aged 76)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Resting place Mount Peace Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Engraver

Charles Edward Barber (November 16, 1840 – February 18, 1917) was the sixth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1879 until his death in 1917. He had a long and fruitful career in coinage, designing most of the coins used at the mint during his time as Chief Engraver. He did full coin designs and also reverse designs, and he designed about 30 medals in his lifetime.[2] The Barber coinage were named after him.


Barber was born in London on November 16, 1840,[3] the son of engraver William Barber. In 1869, he was appointed the assistant engraver at the United States Mint in Philadelphia.[4][5][6] In 1879, he succeeded his father in the position as chief engraver. He was frequently criticized for unimaginative designs, but R.W. Julian suggests that he "was capable of superb work when given a free hand."[7]

Barber's best known designs are the Barber dime, Barber quarter, and Barber half dollar, as well as the so-called "V" Liberty Head nickel. Some lesser known pattern coin designs include the trial copper-nickel cent, trial three-cent piece, and the $4 Stella "Flowing Hair" pieces. He was strongly critical of Augustus St. Gaudens' proposed high relief pattern for a new double eagle in 1908 and tried hard to stop them from being produced, citing the impracticality of the design.[8] Barber was succeeded as Chief Engraver by George T. Morgan.

Coins Designed

Public Issues

  • Barber half dollar
  • Barber quarter
  • Barber dime
  • Liberty Head nickel


Foreign coins

  • Cuba 1915-61 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 & 40 Centavos

Pattern coins


  1. ^ "Charles E. Barber". [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Charles Barber". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 2018-04-30. 
  3. ^ The Numismatist. American Numismatic Association. 1995. 
  4. ^ American Journal of Numismatics, Volumes 17-18, 1883.
  5. ^ Stauffer 1907
  6. ^ Evans 1885
  7. ^ Julien, R. W. (March 2018). "Charles Barber's dime: Mint engraver's design appreciated by dedicated collectors". Coins Magazine. 
  8. ^ Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. "St. Gaudens $20 (1907-1933)". Numismatic Guaranty Corporation |. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "So-Called Dollar". Retrieved 2017-07-08. 
  • Evans, George Greenlief (1885). Illustrated History of the United States Mint with a Complete Description of American Coinage. George G. Evans. 
  • Stauffer, David McNeely (1907). Biographical sketches, illustrated. Index to engravings described with check-list numbers and names of engravers and artists. Grolier club of the city of New York. 
  • Du Bois, Patterson (1883). "Our Mint Engravers". American Journal of Numismatics, and Bulletin of the American Numismatic and Archaeological Society. 18 (1): 12–16. JSTOR 43584447. 
  • Adams, Edgar H.; Raymond, Wayte (1917). Coin & Medal Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 3. Washington University Libraries. Edgar H. Adams and Wayte Raymond. 
Government offices
Preceded by
William Barber
Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint
Succeeded by
George T. Morgan

External links

  • Media related to Charles Edward Barber at Wikimedia Commons

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