1853-O H10C Arrows MS (PCGS# 4357)

2004 November Palm Beach, FL Signature Sale #358

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1853-O H10C Arrows MS67 PCGS. The Coinage Act of February 1853 authorized a reduction of the weight of silver coins from half dimes through half dollars. The reason for this is that the price of silver had increased to the point that the melt value for these coins was higher than the face value, a direct result of the gold discoveries in California. This created a situation where the silver coinage did not circulate and, instead, was hoarded and eventually melted. Once the 1853 Coinage Act was enforced, the silver coinage again began to circulate freely and steadily. Among half dimes, the coins of 1850 through early 1853 were produced to the extent of a little under 5 million coins. The balance of 1853 saw a total half dime production of over 15 million coins. Just 2.2 million of those were struck in New Orleans, the rest in Philadelphia. Regarding these coins, Walter Breen noted: "These coins went into circulation and stayed there, for which reason they are not often seen in perfect mint state. Until recent decades coin dealers would not stock them in any grade because they were so common in G to VF, and in higher grades they were neglected because nobody though them worth keeping. This led in recent years to an intense demand among type collectors for gem survivors, and a corresponding tendency to exaggerate the grade of the common EFs and AUs." As a result of these influences, it is seldom that a Superb Gem 1853 With Arrows coin from either mint becomes available in the market place. To date, for example, PCGS has certified just four 1853 Philadelphia Mint With Arrows half dimes in MS67 grade, and this single 1853-O half dime in the same grade. We do not hesitate to suggest that this is the single finest known example of this issue. The surfaces have highly attractive frosty luster with delightful toning. The obverse has bright rose and blue toning over a base of ivory color. The reverse is similar with considerable green mixed in. Prominent clash marks are visib
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