1854 SEATED LIBERTY 50C W/ARROWS
NGC MS65This 1854 Seated Liberty Half Dollar with Arrows is graded NGC MS65. The Seated Liberty Half Dollars are a fascinating series, designed by the U.S. Mint's Chief Engraver, Christian Gobrecht. This Type 4 ''No Motto'' issue with Arrows at date was minted for only two years in 1854-1855 to correct an imbalance in the silver ratio.
The production of gold from California flooded the markets, enough to distort the gold/silver ratio. Silver prices increased, which exceeded the coin's face value. The result was that silver coins were either hoarded or exported and melted... Silver coins virtually disappeared from circulation by 1853.
To correct this imbalance, the weight of the Half-Dollar was reduced by seven percent, and though the amount of weight change seemed insignificant, the reduction was necessary to keep half dollars in circulation.
To make the public aware of this significant change, a new design was issued with arrows at the date and rays around the eagle in 1853. Then in 1854 the rays were removed from the design because of striking problems from the new steam presses used at that time. The arrows indicated a reduction in the weight from 13.36 gm (used since 1839) to 12.44 gm. Only the weight of the coin changed; the fineness, diameter, and design remained the same on this limited two-year 1854 to 1855 issue of the ''Arrows Seated Half Dollar''
Today, this short-lived ''Arrows'' type is quite popular among numismatists today and is considered a treasure both for variety specialists and type collectors alike. The Philadelphia Mint struck 2,982,000 Seated Half Dollars with Arrows. The New Orleans Mint struck over five million Half Dollars; and the San Francisco Mint produced none (this newly opened Mint focused on gold coins in its first year).
This popular first year of a two-year design variation of the Seated Liberty type with Arrows at the date, but without the reverse rays that appeared the previous year.
This short-lived type rarely appears on the market as a Gem. This Gem Mint State 65 piece has lovely toning over satin luster. Gem or finer representatives are nothing short of rare. Minted for only two years during the Gold Rush days, this coin has the historic significance that will make it a treasured coin in any collection.