Charles E. Barber served as Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1879 until his death in office in 1917. Barber is renowned for his Barber Coinage, designs for the dime, quarter, and half dollar which were all created by him for use on American circulation currency in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Charles E. Barber was born in the United Kingdom to William Barber, and is part of the only father-son combination to serve as Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. Charles’ father served as Chief Engraver immediately before him, with Charles taking over the position from his father in 1879.
On the obverse of all 90% Silver Barber Half Dollar coins is the image of Liberty in right-profile relief. She is featured in a classical, ancient Roman figure with a Phrygian cap on her head, headband, and a crown wreath with the word “Liberty” across it on her forehead.
The reverse of all Barber Half Dollar coins includes the heraldic eagle of the US. In use on American coins since 1794, this design has been updated at various times. This depiction includes the American bald eagle behind the national shield with arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other.