Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dimes (1837-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 13,210,020
Catalog: KM-76
Obverse Designer: Robert B. Hughes
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 1.24 Grams
ASW: 0.0359oz
Melt Value: $0.64 (9/19/2014)
Diameter: 15.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1853 ARROWS H10C MS obverse 1853 ARROWS H10C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The huge influx of gold following the California Gold Rush of 1849 lowered the value of this metal in relation to silver, pushing up the bullion value of United States silver coins above their face value as reckoned in gold. Widespread hoarding resulted, and it took several years of Congressional dithering before action was finally taken with the Act of February 21, 1853. This reduced the weight of the half dime through half dollar about 7%, just enough to keep them in circulation.

A massive recoining ensued, and the Philadelphia Mint produced more than 13 million half dimes of the new tenor in just the first year. This date is extremely common in worn condition, so common in fact that dealers specifically excluded the "Arrows" coins from their buy ads well into the 20th Century.

While there appears to have been no conscious attempt to preserve Mint State examples at the time of issue, the sheer numbers produced has provided collectors with a generous supply. Precious few of these, however, qualify as gems.

Despite its large mintage this date has resulted in very few varieties. The only one of note is a misplaced date in which the bottoms of duplicate numerals 853 are seen protruding from Liberty's base.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 5/6/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

Base $ 18.00 22.00 26.00 34.00 68.00 68.00 140 160 170 180 210 225 280 345 550 1550 3750 11000 - - -
$ 75.00 150 170 180 195 220 240 310 380 665 1950 5300 16500 -
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Total Graded: 1181
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/22/1997 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions February 1997 Long Beach Bullet Sale #167, 167/Lot# 253 $203.50
8/15/2001 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1472, 1472/Lot# 1254 $392.40
5/31/2004 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 538 $661.25
1/5/2011 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(1), 1151/Lot# 3237 $2,760.00
8/11/2011 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(2), 1158/Lot# 3487 $1,955.00
2/16/2014 PCGS MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 791, 800/Lot# 46 $585.00
3/2/2014 PCGS AU 55   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/02/2014, 182/Lot# 172947 $144.96
5/25/2014 PCGS MS 66   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3483, 6032/Lot# 22172 $2,203.13
6/29/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/29/2014, 187/Lot# 145903 $110.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1853 ARROWS H10C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66
Points: 2464
Owner: Electric Peak Collection
Grade: MS 64
Points: 1103
Owner: G & R coins
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