Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 550
Catalog: KM-107
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.26 (5/22/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1873 ARROWS 50C PF obverse 1873 ARROWS 50C PF reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The Crime of '73, as western mine owners labeled the Mint Act of February 12, 1873, was perhaps the most misguided coinage law in the history of the United States. In a vain effort to goad the American public to accept the metric system, the federal government decided that its silver coins could function as metric weights. Regardless of whether they were incompetent in coinage practices or simply chose to ignore the glaring contradictions of this proposal, Congressmen failed to recognize that coin planchets varied regularly enough to ensure that their use as standard weights was a pointless gesture. Nevertheless, based on this flimsy pretext, Congress increased the weight of the half dollar in early 1873 from 12.44 grams to 12.50 grams. A useless paper complication, the act failed to win popular acceptance from either the Bureau of the Mint or the American public. Since its standard practice was to accept all planchets that weighed within 0.2 grams of the approved weight, the Mint simply continued to use the old pre-1873 planchets without raising objections from the Assay Commission. The average American citizen did not even know about the change and public acceptance of the metric system today is no stronger than it was before the Crime of '73.

Despite its shortcomings at the time, the Mint Act of 1873 has several noteworthy effects as far as modern numismatists are concerned. First, it prompted the Mints to melt large quantities of the No Arrows silver coins dated 1872 and 1873. Second, it created yet another short-lived type within the Seated Liberty dime, quarter, and half dollar series. While most of the 1873-1874 issues are far from rare, their enormous desirability among type collectors will ensure their popularity for decades to come. With this in mind, we urge advanced numismatists to carefully consider the lovely gem specimen that we offer here. Many of the 550 proofs coined after the adoption of the Mint Act of 1873 were included in proof sets that the Mint sold to collectors at the time of issue. Although numerous pieces survive today, many of these have suffered from the crude effects of improper handling and/or surface alteration.

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: 3/13/2015

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

1873 ARROWS 50C PF
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 1150 1550 3000 4250 11750 32500 52500 - - -
$ - - - - - 1250 1875 3300 4600 15250 40000 - -
1873 ARROWS 50C PF Cameo
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - 3500 4850 19500 46000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1873 ARROWS 50C PF Ultra Cameo
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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: 139
Low Grade: 60
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/7/2015 PF 66   Heritage Auctions 2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1221/Lot# 3993


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
3/16/1998 PCGS PF 61   Teletrade Auction 1032, 1032/Lot# 1495 $735.75
9/4/2006 NGC PF 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 103, 108/Lot# 131 $1,311.00
5/24/2009 NGC PF 65   Cameo Goldberg May 24-27, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 53/Lot# 547 $8,913.00
2/28/2012 NGC PF 65   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 3331 $7,791.25
3/30/2014 PCGS PF 62   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/30/2014, 184/Lot# 164803 $1,279.30
10/30/2014 PCGS PF 62   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 4267 $998.75
1/29/2015 PCGS PF 63   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 29 - February 1 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1217/Lot# 3874 $1,762.50
2/26/2015 PCGS PF 64   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2015 February 26 - March 1 PNG Dallas Invitational US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(2), 1218/Lot# 3838 $3,290.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1873 ARROWS 50C PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1231127013091349139014331476152115651612165817071799208728073486561081539756102481107113942
124412831322136314041447149115361581162716741738189523273033419464588687992010522120280
00000014911536158116271674173818952327303341946458868799201052200
000000150615501596164316911768199125673260490273059222100841079700
1873 ARROWS 50C PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base171917681818187119231976203120882144220222622323252227352960385266588929939098681066913464
173517851836188819411994205021072163222222822389259328103257478774159083954910135116010
00000020502107216322222282238925932810325747877415908395491013500
00000020692125218322422303245626642885355557238172923697091040200
1873 ARROWS 50C PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1856190819622016207221292187224523062367243024942705292831654100702993909868103641338818711
1873192619802035209121482206226523262388245125642779300734775076781695491003311372151620
000000220622652326238824512564277930073477507678169549100331137200
000000222622862347240924732635285430863788605386039709101991238000
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 66 CA
Points: 8929
Owner: First Strike Society
 
Grade: PF 66 CA
Points: 8929
Owner: SLUGGO
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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