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1901-S Barber Quarter - authentic?

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My step-father, born in 1919 and now deceased, was a small-time coin collector.  The only reason I know this is because I found several coins in protective covers in a drawer at my mother's home last week.  One in particular was in an envelope with a note and coin inside.  The note said that the coin was given to him in 1967 by his brother, Vick,  in exchange for his help with a real-estate transaction and that he was told the coin was worth approximately $400-500 at the time.  In Googling each of the coins I found to see if anything was special about them, this is the one that obviously has a chance at being worth something - if it's authentic.  To my knowledge it has neither been authenticated nor found not to be authentic.  I read up on different "tells" such as the two different die pairs, the positioning of the date and the mint mark, etc.  I also read on one website (barbercoins dot org) about a die crack that some coins have.  I realize from my research that these coins are extremely rare and that there are lots of fakes out there, but thought just maybe, since the coin came into his possession over 50 years ago that there is a chance.  I work in the science field so I was able to check it out under a microscope.  Everything looks like it is in it's proper place to my 100% UNTRAINED eye, and that there may actually be a die crack mark between the bust and the first star (visible under microscope).  I am attaching photos if anyone has any input - sorry they are crappy, all I have is a iPhone camera.  I am going to see if someone here is able to take photographs through the microscope tomorrow.  Again, I have absolutely no knowledge of coins - I'm just a Googler, so any advice is much appreciated.    

barber 3.jpg

barber 1.jpg

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Hi Bednar,

I'm not an expert on Barber coinage by any means, but I can tell you this......the 1901-S Barber Quarter is a coin with many, many fakes out there and just because someone acquired an example long ago does not guarantee the coin's authenticity.  This is a coin that has been known to be rare and has had a high value for a long time, so there's been that incentive for people to fake it for just as long.  One thing that concerns me somewhat is the dark coloration.......coloration like that and/or colored toning have both been used by counterfeiters to cover up that a coin is either completely fake or altered from a genuine but more common coin.  What I would do is this: do you have a reputable coin dealer in your area?  If so, that would be a good place to start.  Take your coin into them and see what they think regarding its authenticity.  If they think it's genuine, then I would absolutely send the coin into NGC for certification and authentication.  There will definitely be a cost involved in that, but if you do have a real 1901-S Barber Quarter, especially in that condition which is quite good for that coin as most survivors are in low grade, that is the only way you'll be able to realize the full financial value of it if you decide to sell it.  If you decide to keep it, you'll still want that guarantee that it's genuine by having it in an NGC holder as there are so many fakes out there.  I hope that this helps you some.

Good Luck and Best Regards!


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