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: $0.70 (8/20/2014)
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.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 5/6/2014

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1853 ARROWS H10C MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
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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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1178
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
8/31/2014 AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 819, 828/Lot# 266


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
5/31/2004 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 538 $661.25
12/8/2011 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2011 December 8-11 US Coins Signature Auction- New York Session(4), 1162/Lot# 7743 $417.45
3/11/2012 NGC Details VF Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/11/2012, 12/Lot# 35087 $25.00
7/1/2012 PCGS MS 62   Teletrade Auction 3303, 3303/Lot# 1394 $220.00
12/9/2012 PCGS XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/09/2012, 52/Lot# 89646 $45.00
7/27/2013 PCGS MS 63   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 30346 $271.43
3/23/2014 PCGS AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 796, 805/Lot# 786 $285.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1853 ARROWS H10C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base33232414514325134839542947150251555165311032102246438178025132331
123235427717928336340644348150652758580314362222291552199761132330
0000002833634064434815065275858031436222229155219976100
00000031537941745749151053961995317692343336666221149700
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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