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: $0.60 (3/30/2015)
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 -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Total Graded: 1207
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
3/2/2004 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #24032, 24032/Lot# 13243 $111.55
4/9/2008 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 2514, 2514/Lot# 1212 $476.00
9/17/2008 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2008 September Long Beach, CA US Coin Signature Auction #1116, 1116/Lot# 1602 $1,265.00
9/2/2012 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg September 2-5, 2012 The September 2-5, 2012, 70/Lot# 1308 $1,265.00
10/12/2014 PCGS MS 62   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 225666 $248.00
11/2/2014 PCGS MS 98   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10453 $71.00
3/13/2015 PCGS AU 55   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3525, 6094/Lot# 22095 $105.75

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1853 ARROWS H10C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66
Points: 3345
Owner: Electric Peak Collection
Grade: MS 64
Points: 1206
Owner: pulver set
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