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: 6.22g
ASW: 0.18oz
Melt Value: $3.46 (10/1/2016)
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: 9/11/2015

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1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 30.00 35.00 50.00 75.00 190 385 435 525 850 1125 1300 1600 2650 5100 22500 40000 89000 - - -
$ - - 475 575 925 - - 1900 3250 6000 - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1356
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
10/4/2016 VF 30   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131640/Lot# 21162
10/4/2016 AU 53   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131640/Lot# 21850
10/4/2016 AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131640/Lot# 21163
10/5/2016 XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2016 October 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(4), 1240/Lot# 7320


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
5/25/2002 NGC VF 30   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #22121, 22121/Lot# 11248 $52.90
4/23/2007 NGC AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 136, 141/Lot# 561 $368.00
1/3/2011 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The January 2011 Tampa Bay Rarities Sale, 70/Lot# 504 $8,912.50
1/30/2011 NGC MS 64   Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 1358 $3,450.00
5/27/2012 PCGS MS 64   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19995/Lot# 1029 $3,159.00
4/8/2013 PCGS XF 45   Teletrade Auction 3425, 3425/Lot# 1634 $170.00
3/30/2014 PCGS AU 50   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/30/2014, 184/Lot# 180423 $254.18
10/30/2014 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 10023 $9,987.50


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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