Evenly Toned MS64 1853 Arrows and Rays Half1853 50C Arrows and Rays MS64 PCGS. Many numismatists and collectors are unaware that while the 1853 Arrows and Rays coinage signifies a proportional weight decrease, their counterparts from 1873, the Arrows coinage, actually signified a weight increase. An 1852-dated half dollar weighed 13.36 gm, while an 1853 Arrows half weighed 12.44 gm, and an 1873 Arrows half weighed 12.50 gm. The 1853 weight reduction was dictated because silver became overvalued in terms of gold or paper currency, due to the California Gold Rush. But the 1873 weight increase basically reflected the increasing influence of Western silver-mining interests, seeking new domestic and international uses for silver. The half dollar thus saw a metric-equivalent weight of exactly 12.5% of 100 gm, or 11.25 gm of pure silver.
While an available coin in lower grades, Arrows and Rays halves are scarce in near-Gem and finer condition, in addition to being highly popular with type collectors. This piece lacks the often-seen heavy toning; instead the surfaces show an even layer of reddish patina over each side. The devices are sharply struck, except on the upper obverse stars. Each side is die clashed, but there are few other interruptions in the surface of this lovely coin.
From The Good Harbour Bay Collection.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 24JJ, PCGS# 6275)
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The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato is the culmination of more than 10 years of research into the Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar series, one of the most coveted type coins in American numismatics and one about which remarkably little has been written.
This work will be the premier reference for 1796-1797 half dollars for years to come. Institutions having an extensive numismatic library or coin cabinet will find it a valuable complement to their holdings, and catalogers charged with writing up specimens for auction can now have an indispensable source of background and pedigree information. Likewise, coin dealers seeking to purchase one or more '96 or '97 half dollars for a client or for inventory, and collectors who own, have owned, or desire to own one will want this important reference work for their libraries.
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