Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 3,532,708
Catalog: KM-79
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $6.03 (5/29/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1853 ARROWS & RAYS 50C MS obverse 1853 ARROWS & RAYS 50C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The vast quantities of gold that flooded the eastern United States in the late 1840s had a deleterious effect on the country's silver coins. As the price of the staple coinage metal rose sharply when reckoned in terms of gold dollars, it was not long before speculators started their usual hoarding and/or melting practices. By 1850, there were few coins in circulation between the lowly cent and the gold dollar. In an effort to rectify this grave coinage situation, Mint Director George N. Eckert proposed that Congress lower the weights of the silver coins to ensure that their face value remained above their bullion value. Despite reservations, Congress authorized this plan in the Mint Act of February 21, 1853. The half dollar's new weight was 12.44 grams, a sufficient enough reduction from its former weight of 13.36 grams to ensure that the denomination remained in circulation. To distinguish these new half dollars from their predecessors, Eckert ordered that arrows be placed on either side of the date and rays added around the eagle. With these features, the Philadelphia Mint delivered the first 80,000 examples of its lighter half dollar on May 21. By the end of the year, a respectable total of 3,532,708 specimens were produced by the parent mint alone.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/24/2014

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

1853 ARROWS & RAYS 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ 38.00 50.00 75.00 120 290 565 675 850 1125 1700 2375 3850 5750 26000 67500 95000 - - -
$ 320 615 725 950 1225 1850 2800 4300 6750 29000 - - -

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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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1070
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/7/2015 MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(3), 1221/Lot# 4517


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/31/2010 PCGS AU 50   Goldberg January 31 - February 3, 2010 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 57/Lot# 1080 $517.50
7/26/2010 NGC AU 58   Teletrade Auction 2895, 2895/Lot# 1242 $661.25
1/13/2013 PCGS VF 35   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 734, 743/Lot# 101 $170.00
2/17/2013 NGC XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/17/2013, 62/Lot# 51117 $201.30
6/5/2013 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2013 June 5 - 9 US Coin Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1186/Lot# 8206 $484.10
1/12/2014 NGC Details XF Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 01/12/2014, 180/Lot# 154363 $192.50
10/10/2014 PCGS AU 50   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 15209 $364.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1853 ARROWS & RAYS 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base115520128842380285612261363155818212124226826853386421775431216019345310375017758719
521702303335498209791272142816461922217224072919366353269082145552324237417530240
000000979127214281646192221722407291936635326908214555232423741700
00000011031317149317332023222025463152394064341062116950271404379700
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 64
Points: 4217
Owner: BillJones
 
Grade: MS 61
Points: 2268
Owner: JTO
 
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