Coin Specifications

Category: Twenty Cents (1875-1878)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 36,910
Obverse Designer: William Barber
Reverse Designer: William Barber
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5.0000g
ASW: 0.1447oz
Melt Value: $2.60 (9/17/2019)
Diameter: 22mm
Edge: Plain
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1875 20C MS obverse 1875 20C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Several arguments were furnished to Congress as justification for creating a 20-cent piece in 1875, but these were mostly specious. The real reason that western legislators pushed for it was to help prop up the market for domestically-mined silver at a time when oversupply of the metal was causing its value to fall. Though this denomination made more sense in our decimal coinage system, the quarter dollar was already firmly entrenched in American society, and the great similarity in size and design of the new coin to the old only made it seem that much more redundant.

The Philadelphia Mint's hesitant production of just 38,500 pieces in 1875 had no impact on this coin's viability in circulation, and survivors are scarce across all grades. Its novelty led to a higher survival rate in Mint State than one would expect from such a low mintage, but gems are rare.

The Brunner/Frost reference book on this coin series notes two die pairs for this issue, but neither is sufficiently distinctive to be sought as a variety.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/14/2019

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

1875 20C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 230 255 305 440 520 680 715 810 910 1000 1100 1250 1600 2700 7000 16500 34000 - - -
$ - - - - - - 1180 - - 3000 8500 - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 572
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 55
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: 9/17/2019 1875 20C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base171414522741241757664357455462174---566
----------1-------1---2
------------1-1-------2
-----------------------
Total171414522741241757674367456462175---570
 0 %1 %2 %2 %9 %5 %7 %4 %3 %10 %12 %1 %6 %13 %10 %8 %4 %1 %1 %--- 
1875 20C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----------2-211-------6
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total----------2-211-------6
 ----------33 %-33 %17 %17 %------- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
3/20/2003 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2003 Charlotte ANA National Money Signature Sale #316, 316/Lot# 5662 $718.75
10/19/2009 PCGS VF 35   Teletrade Auction 2760, 2760/Lot# 1233 $391.00
5/27/2012 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Goldberg May 27-31, 2012 The May Pre-Long Beach Auction, 69/Lot# 1143 $1,121.25
7/7/2013 PCGS MS 92   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 759, 768/Lot# 82 $300.00
3/2/2014 PCGS VF 35   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/02/2014, 182/Lot# 147607 $356.88
11/6/2014 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2014 November 6 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Beverly Hills Session(1), 1211/Lot# 3408 $822.50
2/5/2015 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers 2015 Americana Auction, 6070/Lot# 1486 $1,468.75
1/30/2019 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131906/Lot# 21245 $528.00


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