Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: New Orleans
Mintage: 5,240,000
Catalog: KM-82
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $5.44 (7/7/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1854 O ARROWS 50C MS obverse 1854 O ARROWS 50C MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The two-year 1854 Arrows Seated half dollar issues followed the one-year Arrows and Rays Seated type, both styles indicating a reduction in the weight of the half dollar from 13.36 gm (used since the introduction of the Seated half dollar design in 1839) to 12.44 gm. Only the weight of the coin changed, the fineness, diameter, and design remained the same.

Though the amount of weight change might seem insignificant, the reduction was necessary for an important reason--to keep half dollars in circulation. The production of gold from California and other places in the late 1840s and throughout the 1850s flooded U.S. and world markets, enough to distort the ratio between gold and silver prices. Silver prices increased, which meant the bullion value of U.S. silver coins exceeded their face value. Brokers, speculators, and regular citizens hoarded the coins, many of which were eventually exported and melted. Silver coins virtually disappeared from circulation.

The Act of February 21, 1853, allowed Mint Director George N. Eckert to reduce the weight of the half dime, dime, quarter, and half dollar. On the 1853 half dollar, the change was indicated by the placement of arrowheads on both sides of the date, and by the addition of a sunburst of rays around the eagle on the reverse. The rays were problematic, compromising the ability of die makers to produce and maintain needed dies, and so were dropped from the 1854 issues. This example is well struck, though with minor softness in some of the details. Both sides are lustrous and covered by a warm russet patina with a trace of rose, and the obverse is peppered with dark toning highlights. 'Halos' are present around the obverse devices, a doubling phenomenon attributed to excessive striking force during production. The reverse shows die cracks, most obvious between the U of UNITED and the H of HALF.

The New Orleans Mint produced over 5 million Seated halves in 1854, and the type is relatively common in grades up to and including near-Gem.

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.

1854 O ARROWS 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ 40.00 52.00 72.00 97.50 190 340 390 440 560 875 1275 2075 3025 9200 23000 55000 75000 - -
$ 225 375 440 490 610 950 1400 2275 3225 10000 26000 - -

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: 704
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 68


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/14/1998 NGC XF 45   Teletrade Auction 1015, 1015/Lot# 1503 $98.10
2/11/2007 NGC MS 68   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 1443 $69,000.00
11/12/2007 NGC AU 53   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 194, 200/Lot# 762 $310.50
4/27/2011 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2011 April Rosemont CSNS Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(1), 1154/Lot# 3674 $1,725.00
3/8/2012 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2012 March 8-9 US Coin Signature Auction - New York Session(3), 1168/Lot# 7839 $747.50
5/27/2012 PCGS MS 64   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19995/Lot# 1055 $3,393.00
4/6/2014 PCGS XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/06/2014, 175/Lot# 182159 $139.70
5/4/2014 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131419/Lot# 26195 $190.35
10/10/2014 PCGS XF 40   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 15214 $105.75


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1854 O ARROWS 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base14716320927836659767489197410511219142115831949251030214981719810458164312606531383
15217823230744362374691910001107128614751705213626803674572082851244919642278380
0000007469191000110712861475170521362680367457208285124491964200
0000008199461025116313541529182723232851432864599371144402285400
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1852
Owner: JTO
 
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1852
Owner: mania
 
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