The 1853/4 Quarter Dollars is a rare exception to the rule that overdating occurs by stamping a newer date over an older one. Based on that rule, the only explanation for this overdate is that it occurred late in 1853, when dies had already been created for 1854 Quarter Dollars in anticipation of production in the following year.
In 1988, Walter Breen characterized this date as being "prohibitively rare in mint state." In the intervening years, several mint state examples have entered the market, modifying the description to scarce. MS63 and MS64 examples are the most prevalent, and the population data is probably elevated due to resubmissions. Whether this date is deemed rare or scarce is of little consequence, as collectors are happy to obtain an example on any grade.
The finest 1853/4 Quarter Dollar is a single PCGS MS65.
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