The 1892-O Barber Half Dollar was the first year of issue and had a low mintage of 390,000 pieces. Many of the coins were saved, making the coins generally available, however one variety exists which is extremely difficult to locate. This is the 1892-O “Micro O” Barber Half , which has long been recognized as a celebrated rarity of the series.
Instead of a regular sized mint mark, a mint mark sized for a quarter dollar was used on the reverse. The term “micro O” refers to its noticeably diminished size.
The variety was first discovered in 1893, surprisingly soon after its original mintage, reported in Augustus Heaton’s Treatise on Mint Marks. The early identification is noted as the likely reason for the survival of numerous mint state specimens. Ten of the 1892 “Micro O” Barber Half Dollars in mint state grades are confirmed to exist, with the finest being a piece graded PCGS MS68.
An example graded PCGS MS65 from the Steven L. Duckor Barber Half Dollar Collection sold for $80,500 in August 2010.