Half-Dimes and Dimes : Liberty Seated Dime : Type 4, Stars Obverse, Arrows at Date

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Obverse of 1855 Arrows Dime Reverse of 1855 Arrows Dime

Q. David Bowers (edited and updated by Mike Sherman): As a counter to widespread hoarding of silver coins in the early 1850s when the silver content of the dime (as well as the other circulating silver coins) exceeded its face value, the weight of the dime was reduced from 41.25 grains to 38.40 grains. To signify this change, an arrowhead was placed on both sides of the date. Otherwise, the Liberty Seated design remains the same as used from 1838 through early 1853. Large quantities were produced of the 1853 with arrows Philadelphia Mint issues; a coinage in excess of 12 million. Lesser quantities were made of other issues, Philadelphia and San Francisco pieces, through 1855.

The type set collector can easily acquire a specimen of this issue in any desired grade from Good through Extremely Fine or AU. Uncirculated pieces are a bit tougher, but due to the huge mintage, are certainly obtainable without much searching.

-- Reprinted with permission from "United States Coins by Design Types - An Action Guide for the Collector and Investor" by Q. David Bowers