Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Quarters (1838-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 15,210,020
Catalog: KM-78
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 6.2200g
ASW: 0.1800oz
Melt Value: $2.64 (8/30/2015)
Diameter: 24.3mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS obverse 1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

For several years leading up to 1853, few U.S. silver coins remained in circulation, because they were worth more melted than in their coined form. The root cause for this was the immense discoveries of gold in California that lowered the market price of gold in terms of silver. As Walter Breen describes in the Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, this 'eventually (led) to a point where bullion dealers found they could make 'endless chain' profits by melting down silver coins bought for face value and reselling the silver. All of the mints' output of silver vanished into hoarders' hands, and most of it went to bullion dealers, less and less silver reached the Mint for coinage, reflected in the diminishing mintages of 1850-52.'

The Act of February 21, 1853, reduced the weight of silver coins to a figure that would eliminate bullion dealers' profits and thus discourage further melting. The Act authorized the coinage of quarters at 96 grains, compared with the former 103 1/8 grains. Mint Director George Eckert realized that the new coins had to have an identifying mark to distinguish them from earlier ones. For the quarter (and half dollar as well), he placed arrows at each side of the date, with rays behind the eagle. (The dimes and half dimes included only the arrows.) This design format (for the quarters and half dollars) lasted only one year, with a reminder of the reduced weight carried on through 1855 in the form of arrowheads only. More than 15 million quarters were struck of the Arrows and Rays design. They were a smashing success. One Philadelphia paper reported that the Mint had 'fully overcome the complaint among the small dealers of a want of change.' The new coins served their purpose excellently. For the first time since the establishment of the Mint in 1793, the nation had an adequate supply of fractional coins of uniform quality.

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: 8/12/2015

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1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ 30.00 35.00 50.00 75.00 190 385 435 525 850 1300 1600 2650 5100 20000 40000 89000 - - -
$ - - 475 575 925 - 1900 3250 6000 - - - -

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: 1283
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/20/2015 MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2015 September 17 - 20 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1224/Lot# 3862
9/20/2015 MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2015 September 17 - 20 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(1), 1224/Lot# 3547


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
7/1/1996 NGC VF 20   Teletrade Auction 0854, 854/Lot# 1413 $29.75
1/8/2003 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2003, Orlando, FL. (FUN) Signature Sale #308, 308/Lot# 6672 $8,337.50
1/30/2006 NGC XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 72, 77/Lot# 393 $189.75
5/13/2006 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions Continuous Internet Auction #66053, 66053/Lot# 23110 $575.00
5/24/2009 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 24-27, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 53/Lot# 494 $4,485.00
12/4/2011 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131150/Lot# 22132 $36.00
5/27/2012 PCGS MS 64   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19995/Lot# 1029 $3,159.00
2/23/2014 NGC XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/23/2014, 182/Lot# 142006 $117.70
8/1/2014 NGC VF 25   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3493, 6044/Lot# 20098 $47.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base89106119151265546692820110512651474159917071911257936506081866010372207503336754053
9411012918935859473491511581334151516351775213329364460694092301383124955402620
0000007349151158133415151635177521332936446069409230138312495500
00000077710101211140415571671184323563293527078009801172902916100
1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base98119131167288586739874117113381557168717992012270438116316896610721213323419355232
10512314320738763778497312261411160017241870224230734646719995511425825619412060
0000007849731226141116001724187022423073464671999551142582561900
000000829107212821484164317611941247334425481808210136177952990600
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1911
Owner: jhd
 
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1911
Owner: JTO
 
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