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    Description

    Popular 1854 Arrows Seated Quarter, Rare Proof Striking

    1854 25C Arrows PR 64 PCGS. The popularity of this issue is assured by the presence of arrows flanking the date on the obverse. This is a two-year type that made its appearance in 1854 when the incoming Mint Director, Colonel James Ross Snowden, ordered Chief Engraver James Longacre to drop the rays from the reverse of the 1853 design. The business strike 1854 quarter is relatively common by the standards of this series, but its proof counterpart is a significant rarity that seldom appears at auction.
    Prior to 1858, the Mint did not keep accurate records on the number of proof coins that it delivered, and, as a result, we do not know the exact mintage figure of this particular issue. In his 1988 Encyclopedia, Breen states that possibly 10 proof 1854 Arrows quarters are extant, but in his 1977 encyclopedia on proofs, the author traces the pedigree of only four examples. NGC and PCGS have certified 22 coins in grades that range from PR 62 through PR 66 (7/00), although the possibility of resubmissions undermines the validity of this total.
    On January 11, 1997, we offered an 1854 Arrows quarter PR 65 PCGS as lot 6016 in our FUN Signature Sale. That coin displayed the same diagnostic features that we note for the present example:

    The date and arrows are high, but free of the rock upon which Liberty is seated.

    Left base of the 1 in the date is centered over the right side of a dentil.

    The left base of the 1 in the date is malformed.

    Right base of the 4 in the date is slightly right of center of a dentil.

    Vertical striae are present in the lower reverse field between the QU in QUAR. and near the arrows.

    The lowest horizontal line in the reverse shield extends far into the eagle's left (facing) wing.

    From a technical standpoint, there does not appear to be any reason why this coin could not receive an even higher grade. If there are a few wispy hairlines, they are well concealed by the deep, original, lavender-charcoal toning that blankets both sides. Brighter electric-blue iridescence is also noted at certain angles, particularly around the obverse periphery. Fully struck for the type, this coin is a must-have for the collector who is serious about assembling a proof type set of U.S. coinage.
    From the Richard Allen Collection. (NGC ID# 23WV, PCGS# 5550)

    Weight: 6.22 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2001
    4th-6th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 274
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