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    1873-CC Arrows Quarter, AU55
    Only CC-Mint Quarter Issue With Arrows
    Rare Condition Census Example

    1873-CC 25C Arrows AU55 NGC. Briggs 1-A. The 1873-CC Seated Liberty quarter, with Arrows at the date, is a sought-after, low-mintage issue, with an even lower survival rate, especially in high grade. In his excellent series reference, The Mint on Carson Street, Rusty Goe estimates the surviving population at a meager 45-60 examples in all grades, a range that agrees well with the current PCGS CoinFacts estimate of 50 pieces extant. The appeal of the 1873-CC Arrows quarter extends far beyond the usual field of date collecting, as it is a must-have issue for branch mint type collectors, as well. Heritage Auctions is privileged to present this attractive Condition Census example, which has been off the market for many years, in this important offering.

    Among its other provisions, the Mint Act of February 12, 1873 changed the specifications for subsidiary U.S. silver coins, increasing the weight of the Seated Liberty quarter by a paltry .03 grams. To signify this change in weight, the Mint modified the design of the subsidiary coinage to include arrowheads beside the date part way through the year. The Arrows were removed from the design after 1874. The Carson City Mint struck limited mintages of both designs in 1873, but no quarters were struck in 1874, making the 1873 issue the only With Arrows quarter in the Carson City series.

    Only 12,462 Seated Liberty quarters of the Arrows design were struck at the Carson City Mint in 1873, all delivered in June and July. A single die variety has been identified. The obverse die featured the new Open 3 in the date and the reverse was the same die used to strike all 1870-CC, 1871-CC, and 1872-CC quarters, but it was different from the reverse used to strike the 1873-CC No Arrows coins. The Mint had suspended specie payments in 1861, and that policy was still in force in 1873. Rusty Goe reports the branch mints were instructed to only exchange silver coins for gold, or "for change less than one dollar in settlement for gold deposits." It seems there was little demand for quarters in the regional economy under these conditions, as the Carson City Mint produced only small mintages in the years from 1870 through 1873, and none were struck in 1874. While a number of 1873 Arrows quarters were released into circulation, it seems likely that a significant part of the mintage was stockpiled as unneeded at the time of issue. Records indicate many of the No Arrows coins were melted as uncurrent after July of 1873, and it is possible that some of the stockpiled Arrows coins were also melted at this time.

    Of the coins released into circulation, few were saved by contemporary collectors, as there was little interest in collecting branch mint issues before Augustus Heaton published his landmark treatise , Mintmarks, in 1893. Heaton recognized the rarity of both the 1873-CC Arrows and No Arrows quarters in his book, noting "Both are exceedingly rare." The 1873-CC Arrows quarter began appearing at auction at least as early as the W.M. Friesner Collection (Edouard Frossard, 6/1894), lot 831, where the cataloger noted the coin was only in Good condition, but scarce. Most examples seen today are in lower circulated grades, ranging from Poor to Very Fine.

    Only two examples are known in Mint State, the MS65 PCGS former Norweb coin and the fabulous MS64 PCGS example from the famous Louis E, Eliasberg/Gene Gardner Collections (the Norweb coin was formerly certified MS65 NGC and that citation still appears in the NGC Census). Below those two coins, three examples in AU55 round out the Condition Census for the issue, two at PCGS and this single example at NGC. This attractive Choice AU specimen exhibits just a touch of wear on the design elements, but the reverse die was showing some deterioration after its three previous uses, and some slight porosity and evidence of rust can be detected on the lower reverse. The lightly abraded surfaces are toned in pleasing shades of lavender-gray and golden-tan toning, with a few traces of original mint luster underneath. This coin will be the capstone of a fine collection of Seated Liberty quarters. Census: 1 in 55, 1 finer (8/18).(Registry values: P9)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 23VV, PCGS# 5492)

    Weight: 6.25 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2018
    11th-14th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 7,839

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