Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 20

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Lot 1596

1853 Liberty Seated Quarter Dollar. Recut date, no arrows or rays. Population of ony 5 with 3 higher. NGC graded MS-66. The date is recut, as seen on all of this tiny mintage. An absolutely fabulous example, boldly struck with pristine surfaces overlaid with deep natural violet and electric blue toning. A stunning example of this most interesting variety, and the finest example we seen in decades.

In early 1853 coining silver had become futile, it was profitable to get silver coins at face value, melt then, sell them in the market at over face value as the price of silver had risen relative to the drop in the price of gold (that little gold discovery in California in 1849 affected prices drastically). No doubt a few wise people bought coins from the mint, melted them and resold the same silver back to the mint for a profit! As usual, after a few years and a few million squandered from taxpayers pockets, a law was passed reducing the amount of silver in subsidiary coinage (half dimes to half dollars) to where the silver required to coin these less than a dollar denomination was now worth less than the face value of the coin. Curiously, the standard was not reduced for the silver dollars, as it was mandated by law at a fixed amount of 412.5 grains per dollar. As usual, the government gold around their own law, they simply didn't strike many silver dollars in the 1850's, until the price of silver had fallen to a level that allowed silver dollars to circulate without being melted and resold to the mint.

Here is one of only a small handful of uncirculated examples saved from the tail end of coins struck just while the law was being passed reducing the silver content in quarters from 103 and 1/8 grains to 96 grains in February of 1853.
Estimated Value $10,000 - 11,000.


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