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: $2.65 (2/24/2017)
Diameter: 22mm
Edge: Plain
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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 - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 505
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
1/25/2004 PCGS MS 63   Goldberg January 25-28, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 23/Lot# 2047 $1,322.50
12/10/2007 NGC AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 202, 208/Lot# 532 $661.25
1/6/2010 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2010 January Orlando, FL FUN US Coin Auction #1136, 1136/Lot# 830 $1,495.00
2/19/2012 PCGS VF 30   Teletrade Auction 3227, 3227/Lot# 1684 $340.00
3/25/2012 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131214/Lot# 24266 $460.00
10/17/2012 PCGS   Stack's Bowers The November 2012 Baltimore Auction - US and World Lots - Live and Internet Only Sessions, 144/Lot# 24531 $408.25
5/19/2013 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/19/2013, 75/Lot# 115882 $198.00
1/8/2014 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1201/Lot# 4107 $3,973.85
3/1/2015 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131510/Lot# 23093 $458.25

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: JTO1
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