Description and Analysis
Seated Liberty Quarters
1873 CL 3 NO ARROWS 25C PF
Description & Analysis
The changeover from a Closed 3 in the date to an Open 3 occurred between the time that the first proof quarter dollars of 1873 were struck and the time that arrowheads were added to denote a minor weight change. Thus, all of the No Arrows quarters of this date have the Closed 3, which the coiner had found objectionable, due to its resemblance to an 8.
The reported mintage of this issue is 600 pieces, this being the number of silver proof sets sold before the changeover to arrowheads in April. It's quite possible that some of these coins were melted after the weight increase went into effect, but then the Mint was not too particular about such things when it came to coins that were not going to circulate. Larry Briggs observed that some of these proofs were, in fact, released into circulation, though he did not state his source. It may be that these coins were not intentionally circulated, but the exact facts have been lost to history.
In any case, this issue is no more rare in overall numbers than the several preceding dates. The population of certified gems is a bit lower, and that may be a reflection of mishandling seen on the impaired proofs cited by Briggs. A single die pair created the entire run, with the flawed reverse die of 1872 being used again.