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 Dollar (Buy on eBay), which has long been recognized as a 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 variety was first discovered in 1893, surprisingly soon after its original mintage, reported in Augustus Heaton’s Treatise on Mint Marks. Due to the early identification, numerous mint state specimens have survived, including one example graded an incredible PCGS MS-68. The overall survival rate for the variety is low, with around 50 known examples across all grades.
An example graded PCGS MS67 sold for a record price of $132,000 in 2020. The single MS68 graded piece has been off the market for many years.
- Designer: Charles E. Barber
- Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
- Weight: 12.50 grams
- Diameter: 30.6 mm
- Edge: Reeded