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: $2.47 (10/17/2017)
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: 4/25/2017

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1875 20C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 190 230 315 395 535 660 705 730 850 935 1050 1325 1690 2200 8000 16500 32000 - - -
$ - - - - - - 1100 - - 2700 9500 - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 527
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 67


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Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
7/3/2000 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1328, 1328/Lot# 1380 $1,296.00
1/6/2010 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2010 January Orlando, FL FUN US Coin Auction #1136, 1136/Lot# 7902 $690.00
1/14/2010 NGC AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 445, 451/Lot# 7375 $667.00
5/27/2012 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Goldberg May 27-31, 2012 The May Pre-Long Beach Auction, 69/Lot# 1143 $1,121.25
3/28/2014 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers March 2014 Baltimore Auction, 6008/Lot# 5256 $1,997.50
9/7/2014 PCGS   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 149494 $220.00
10/10/2014 NGC VF 35   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 14780 $258.50
4/3/2016 PCGS Genuine AU   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131615/Lot# 23118 $329.00
2/16/2017 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2017 February 16 - 19 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(1), 1252/Lot# 3437 $1,292.50


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