Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,815,150
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.92 (7/18/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1873 ARROWS 50C MS obverse 1873 ARROWS 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Effective April 1, 1873, the weight of the half dollar was raised quite slightly so that it could be expressed neatly in grams. This was a gesture toward the then-popular notion of establishing an internationally exchangeable coinage. While this never came to pass, at least not for the United States, it did require some mark of distinction on this denomination, as well as the quarter dollar and dime, all of which were modified in proportion. As it had in 1853-55, the U. S. Mint added opposed arrowheads at either side of the date to mark them as being of the new standard. Technically, the earlier coins still fell within the legal weight tolerance of the new ones, but the various mints were ordered to destroy any existing stocks coined to the old standard.

Wiley and Bugert identified 10 obverse dies for 1873(P) Arrows half dollars and 14 reverses, though it's not certain from their 1993 book whether all of these reverse dies were used for Arrows halves. This information awaits publication of Volume VII of Bill Bugert's immense die registry for Seated Liberty Half Dollars.

Two different sizes of arrowheads appear on 1873(P) half dollars. The larger one is the more common, being seen on five dies. The smaller arrowheads are known on a like number of dies, yet fewer coins were made from these. Unlike 1874, when the Small Arrows variety is scarce, the relative availability for 1873 halves is not great enough to command a premium for either variety. One of the Small Arrows obverses features a repunched numeral 3, but the standout variety for this date is the Small Arrows half dollar with quadrupled stripes in Liberty's shield.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/26/2019

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

1873 ARROWS 50C MS
Base $ 60.00 85.00 95.00 135 340 450 475 585 785 940 1200 1550 2075 3650 14250 30000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 5750 17000 45000 - -

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Total Graded: 320
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 66

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 7/16/2019 1873 ARROWS 50C MS
 1 %2 %2 %2 %8 %6 %11 %5 %7 %9 %13 %1 %7 %8 %7 %6 %2 %2 %---- 
1873 ARROWS 50C MS Prooflike
 ------------100 %--------- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/4/2008 NGC XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 218, 224/Lot# 565 $287.50
9/4/2011 NGC Details VF Details  Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 1271 $168.00
6/17/2012 NGC Details AU Details  Teletrade Auction 3295, 3295/Lot# 1869 $195.50
2/22/2013 NGC AU 50   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 7205 $235.00
1/12/2014 NGC Details XF Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 01/12/2014, 180/Lot# 162542 $90.20
3/2/2014 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131410/Lot# 29336 $658.00
9/20/2015 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131539/Lot# 29228 $235.00
8/15/2018 PCGS VF 35   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131834/Lot# 25377 $132.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1873 50C MS ARROWS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 2161
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
Grade: AU 58
Points: 1427
Owner: JTO
View the Registry Image Gallery

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