Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Quarters (1838-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 15,210,020
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 6.2200g
ASW: 0.1800oz
Melt Value: $3.10 (11/22/2019)
Diameter: 24.3mm
Edge: Reeded
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1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS obverse 1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Early in 1853 Congress finally passed legislation lowering the weights of the nation's silver coins from half dime through half dollar, leaving the silver dollar at its existing standard and condemning it to non-circulation. This permitted the fractional coins to remain unmolested in commerce, as they no longer were profitable to export and melt.

To mark this change, opposed arrowheads were placed at either side of the date, and a glory of rays was added around the eagle on the half dollar and quarter dollar. These distinguishing marks alerted any recipients that such coins were of the new, lower weight. They also facilitated withdrawal of the new coins, should the old standard ever be restored.

Since the need to replace the heavier coins was so urgent, record numbers of fractional silver issues were minted in 1853, so many in fact that coin dealers specifically excluded this date from their want lists for the next 80 years. The 1853 quarter dollar with arrows and rays is thus a very common coin across all grades. Mint State survivors are fairly plentiful, and even gems are available with some regularity.

Over 100 dies each were prepared for both obverse and reverse of this large production, but the only variety of particular interest is the 1853/54 overdate. Though seemingly illogical, this old date over new date is explained by the fact that dies for the new year's coinage were being prepared during the final quarter of 1853, and the die sinker easily could have overpunched an 1853 dated die if one were needed immediately. It has also been proposed by researchers that the Mint prepared new master hubs for the arrows & rays coinage, as the great number of dies needed justified this extra effort to avoid hand punching these elements into each working die. The resulting obverse hub would have included the date, as well, and a dual punching of 1853-dated and 1854-dated hubs could also produce this overdate oddity.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/4/2019

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

1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 37.00 50.00 55.00 100.00 195 355 455 550 790 1050 1170 1510 1800 3775 16000 29000 78500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - 1800 3050 5000 - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1489
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 67

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, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 11/19/2019 1853 ARROWS & RAYS 25C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base11111932262128175696312215275498881573074---1489
-----------------------
---------12--124-1----11
-----------------------
Total11111932262128175696312315475499901613084---1500
 1 %1 %1 %2 %17 %9 %12 %5 %4 %8 %10 %0 %4 %7 %6 %11 %2 %1 %0 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
7/30/2008 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2008 July-August Baltimore, MD (ANA) US Coin Signature Auction #1114, 1114/Lot# 201 $4,600.00
11/23/2008 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 2616, 2616/Lot# 1459 $138.00
1/30/2011 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 1357 $3,680.00
5/27/2012 PCGS MS 64   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19995/Lot# 1029 $3,159.00
1/26/2014 PCGS AU 58   Goldberg January 26-28, 2014 January Pre-Long Beach Sale 17.5% BP, 78/Lot# 1094 $763.75
3/23/2014 NGC VG 8   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/23/2014, 178/Lot# 179003 $23.09
11/2/2014 PCGS G 6   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10472 $365.00
3/27/2015 PCGS MS 61   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Baltimore, 6065/Lot# 5411 $881.25
2/13/2019 PCGS Genuine XF   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131908/Lot# 25192 $126.00


NGC Registry

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