Coin Specifications

Category: Twenty Cents (1875-1878)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 36,910
Catalog: KM-109
Obverse Designer: William Barber
Reverse Designer: William Barber
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5g
ASW: 0.1447oz
Melt Value: $2.69 (8/25/2016)
Diameter: 22mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1875 20C MS obverse 1875 20C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/26/2016

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

1875 20C MS
Base $ 175 210 290 380 510 650 690 740 850 1025 1085 1300 1900 2500 7500 18000 38000 - - -
$ 565 - - - 925 - 1200 1400 2050 2900 9000 - - -

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Total Graded: 489
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
7/5/2006 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2006 July Dallas, TX Coin Signature Auction #407, 407/Lot# 2190 $1,840.00
7/10/2006 NGC AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 95, 100/Lot# 589 $460.00
3/27/2012 NGC XF 45   Teletrade Auction 3249, 3249/Lot# 1090 $457.00
9/25/2013 PCGS Genuine AU   Goldberg September 22-25, 2013 September Pre Long Beach, 75/Lot# 1428 $632.50
12/22/2013 NGC AU 58   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/22/2013, 106/Lot# 159769 $620.00
5/19/2014 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3482, 6031/Lot# 20142 $405.38
8/5/2014 PCGS Genuine XF   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(5), 1208/Lot# 7508 $381.88
11/29/2015 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131549/Lot# 23495 $223.25
4/27/2016 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2016 April 27 - May 1 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(1), 1234/Lot# 3291 $4,259.38

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1875 20C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1969
Owner: Tweed Collection
Grade: MS 61
Points: 1785
Owner: JTO
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