The 1896-O Barber Half Dollar is one of the scarcest Barber half dollars struck at the New Orleans Mint. Although the total mintage of 924,000 coins was not small within the context of the series, most were poorly produced, heavily circulated, or damaged afterward. Even the highest graded pieces will show some weakness in the centers, a feature often found on New Orleans coins but very prominent on coins of this issue.
The 1896-O represents one of the key dates of the series in grades MS65 and higher. Pieces attaining this lofty grade are scarce and very seldom offered at auction.
An example graded PCGS MS66 realized a price of $27,600 at an auction held in April 2011.