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: $6.38 (10/19/2019)
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.

GRADE SUMMARY

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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
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
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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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 324
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: 10/8/2019 1873 ARROWS 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base28862720361624324122325241964----323
-----------------------
---------------111----3
-----------------------
Total28862720361624324122325242075----326
 1 %2 %2 %2 %8 %6 %11 %5 %7 %10 %13 %1 %7 %8 %7 %6 %2 %2 %---- 
1873 ARROWS 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------------1---------1
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total------------1---------1
 ------------100 %--------- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
5/31/2004 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 736 $2,990.00
5/25/2011 NGC VF 25   Teletrade Auction 3073, 3073/Lot# 1444 $97.75
10/17/2012 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers The November 2012 Baltimore Auction - US and World Lots - Live and Internet Only Sessions, 144/Lot# 1740 $6,462.50
12/23/2012 PCGS XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/23/2012, 54/Lot# 89643 $165.00
4/28/2013 PCGS MS 98   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 749, 758/Lot# 608 $75.00
9/25/2013 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(7), 1189/Lot# 8321 $352.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1873 50C MS ARROWS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base14716312724237838381066111012061427168318862161243334276437842813034205103258438833
15216391322543801914108111421280151217511978225227644430710199631552624535346670
00000091410811142128015121751197822522764443071019963155262453500
000000990109511741353159818182069234230965434776411499180182855900
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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