To determine the value of a 1959 Barbie doll, find out whether it is a #1 or #2 doll from that year. #1 Barbie dolls are generally worth more than #2 dolls, although condition affects the value. Barbie dolls from 1959 often range from $3,000 to $7,000.
A 1959 Barbie doll is identifiable by its cat-eye-style black eyeliner, heavily arched eyebrows, pale vinyl body, red closed mouth and painted or stenciled face. These Barbies feature blonde or brunette flocked hair with curly bangs and a heavy plastic body. All 1959 Barbie dolls have red fingernails and lack iris colors. They come wearing a striped, black-and-white sleeveless swimsuit in synthetic fabric, as well as black plastic shoes, metal hoop earrings and white plastic sunglasses.
The #1 Barbie dolls are distinguished by holes in their feet, which mark where copper tubes are inserted into their legs for structural support. All #2 Barbie dolls lack these holes, featuring solid plastic legs instead. Additionally, #2 Barbie dolls have ponytails, whereas #1 dolls do not. In all other respects, #1 and #2 Barbie dolls are identical. All 1959 Barbie dolls feature the model number 850 and have "JAPAN" stamped on the right heel. Their boxes are marked "Barbie™ Pats. Pend. ©MCMLVIII by Mattel, Inc."