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SERIES: Liberty Seated Dimes 1837-1891
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1853 10C Arrows (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS68+

PCGS MS68

PCGS MS67+
PCGS #:
4603
Diameter:
17.90 millimeters
Designer:
Robert Ball Hughes/Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
2.48 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
12,078,010
Metal Content:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$57,500 • NGC MS69 • 3-24-2005 • Heritage
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 4,000 R-4.2 5 / 5 113 / 122 TIE
60 or Better 900 R-5.2 5 / 5 119 / 122
65 or Better 130 R-7.7 5 / 5 106 / 122 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS68+ PCGS grade
2 MS68 PCGS grade

High Desert Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 MS68 PCGS grade  
2 MS68 PCGS grade  
5 MS67 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS68+ PCGS grade
2 MS68 PCGS grade

High Desert Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 MS68 PCGS grade  
2 MS68 PCGS grade  
5 MS67 PCGS grade  
5 MS67 PCGS grade
5 MS67 PCGS grade  
5 MS67 PCGS grade  
5 MS67 PCGS grade  
5 MS67 PCGS grade  

Ron Guth: In 1853, the weight of the Half Dimes, Dimes, Quarter Dollars and Half Dollars was reduced to reflect a rise in the price of silver.  The older coins were already being destroyed in large quantities because their intrinsic value exceeded their face value.  To differentiate the new coins from the old, the Mint placed arrowheads on either side of the date.  This did two things: it made it easy to identify the older coins with just a glance; and it also protected the newer coins from being melted, since they were immediately identifiable as the lower-weight coins.

The mintage of the new 1853 "With Arrows" Dimes was huge (the mintage of 12 million plus coins was at least six times that of any previous mintage of a U.S. Dime).  Presumably, the Mint achieved this milestone by converting old coins to new as fast as it could.

Because of the high mintage, the 1853 Dime with Arrows is a common coin in virtually all grades, especially up through MS-64.  Gems are slightly scarcer, but still obtainable, and it is only in MS-67 and MS-68 that this date becomes a condition rarity.  However, demand from type collectors keeps the price of this issue higher than it would be under normal circumstances.

The finest example certified by PCGS (as of April 2012) is a wonderful MS-68 that features vivid luster and intense toning on both sides (see the image of this remarkable coin above).