History of the Barber Dime
An overview of how the Barber dime came to be
Barber Dimes, coin collecting
In 1887, Mint Director James P. Kimball noted in his annual report the inferiority of our coinage compared to other advanced nations and that in his opinion, the coinage of the U.S. was out of date and should be changed. At the request of Kimball, Senator Justin S. Morill introduced a bill authorizing the Treasury Department to redesign coins without first obtaining the permission of Congress, as long as the current design had been in use for at least 25 years. The bill passed on September 26, 1890 and the dime, quarter and half dollar were targeted for change. The decision of who should redesign the coins eventually fell to his successor, Edward O. Leech.
Ironically, new designs were submitted by Mint engravers throughout the early 1880s but the only change that occurred was a new nickel designed by Charles E. Barber in 1883. In 1891, when there was discussion of a public competition for new designs. Barber reported to Mint director Kimball that there was no one in the country capable in assisting him
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