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: 12.44g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $6.89 (9/29/2016)
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: 8/3/2016

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

1853 ARROWS & RAYS 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 45.00 50.00 78.00 125 300 635 735 825 1150 1550 1700 2450 3900 5200 26500 62000 100000 - - -
$ - - - 950 1250 - 1800 2800 4300 6350 29500 80000 - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1143
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
10/5/2016 AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2016 October 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(4), 1240/Lot# 7446


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/1/1998 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 1054, 1054/Lot# 1447 $370.60
1/9/2002 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2002 Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Sale #280, 280/Lot# 6972 $632.50
5/31/2004 PCGS AU 53   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 728 $488.75
1/24/2012 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers The January 2012 Americana Sale, 134/Lot# 8661 $4,600.00
1/13/2013 PCGS VF 35   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 734, 743/Lot# 101 $170.00
8/11/2013 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131334/Lot# 20915 $552.25
12/5/2013 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2013 December 5 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(5), 1192/Lot# 7950 $329.00
4/13/2014 PCGS XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/13/2014, 181/Lot# 186367 $423.50
9/4/2014 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1209/Lot# 4133 $3,965.63


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 63
Points: 3386
Owner: Senator32
 
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