Jim O'Neal Collection - Heritage 4/2013:2006, $7,050
Pinnacle Rarities, sold privately in 7/2000 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part IV - Heritage 10/2015:98530, $14,100
In 1873, the Mint raised the weight of the Dimes, Quarter Dollars and Half Dollars ever so slightly. Just as in 1853-1855, arrowheads on either side of the date indicated this change. For the Quarter Dollar, the arrowheads were used only in 1873 and 1874, then removed in subsequent years. The arrowheads in 1873 were more cosmetic than anything else; in 1853, the lack of arrowheads indicated that a silver coin contained more bullion value than its face value, thus it could be pulled from circulation and melted down for a profit. Such was not the case in 1873, because the new coins with arrowheads were worth more than the 1853-1873 coins, not less.
This design change sparked a collecting frenzy, as the number of surviving Mint State examples is the highest since 1862. Likewise, the sale of 1873 Proof Quarters shot through the roof and exceeded 1,100 units -- the largest Proof mintage to date and the second largest of the entire series. However, there is a caveat - the 1873 Proof mintage was split between the No Arrows and the With Arrows versions. Thus, the net mintage for the 1873 With Arrows Quarter was only 540 Proofs, which was the smallest mintage since the Civil War. The reduced mintage, coupled with the fact that this is one of only two years of the type, creates much higher demand for this date than would otherwise be expected.
Occasionally, the 1873 With Arrows Quarter offers Cameo contrast, but Deep Cameo examples are exceedingly rare -- if they exist at all.
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