PCGS MS-64 example of an 1873-CC With Arrows Seated Liberty quarter is in the superior collection of Carson City silver coins at Southgate Coins Collectibles in Reno, Nevada.

The Eliasberg Specimen of the 1873-CC With Arrows Seated Liberty Quarter

December 2002

The Coinage Act, passed into legislation on February 12, 1873, called for the silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars to increase their silver content by less than one half of 1%. The 1873-CC Without Arrows quarters weighed 6.23 grams. The new issue 1873-CC With Arrows quarters increased to 6.25 grams. The Without Arrows coins were ordered to be melted after April 1, 1873 and were used to produce the With Arrows coins. The arrowheads placed to the left and right of the date signified the change in weight. It is interesting to note that the change in weight in the quarters resulted in an increase in value of 6/10s of 1 cent (.006), with silver at approximately $1.20 per ounce.

The Arrows and No Arrows coins from 1873 provide interesting collecting opportunities. Collectors of date sets and type sets look forward to obtaining both varieties. The silver coins from the Carson City Mint are by far the rarest of either of the two varieties. The 1873-CC Without Arrows dime is one of the rarest coins in all of numismatics. There is only one known example, and the last reported sale of it was in 1999 for a record price of $632,500. There are five known examples of the 1873-CC Without Arrows quarter. Three of those examples are in Uncirculated condition.

There are a combined total of 26 1873-CC With Arrows quarters graded by PCGS and NGC. A fair percentage of the 26 coins listed are the same coins being graded by both services. Since these duplicates are not subtracted by the service whose certification is no longer current, it seems safe to make a speculative, estimated guess that there are fewer than forty examples of the 1873-CC With Arrows quarters in existence, in all grade classifications (certified and raw). Of this number, there are probably no more than four in Uncirculated condition. At the present time (2002), there are only two known Uncirculated specimens. The 1873-CC With Arrows quarter is unique in the sense that it is the only Carson City quarter bearing the Arrows design.

Prices for the very special 1873-CC Without Arrows dime and the two varieties of 1873-CC quarters, reveal how much demand there is in the collector market. The figures below are taken from auction results for Uncirculated specimens from 1991 through 2002. (One price is from 1980 in a private sale.)

1873-CC Without Arrows dime 4/97 - $550,000 4/99 - 632,500

1873-CC Without Arrows quarter 1980 - $190,000 (Private Sale) 8/91 - 286,000 PCGS MS-65 4/97 - 187,000 Eliasberg2/98 - 209,000 PCGS MS-63 4/99 - 106,375 PCGS MS-62

1873-CC With Arrows quarter 4/97 - $88,000, Eliasberg 4/99 - 66,000, Eliasberg 8/02 - 97,000 Eliasberg.The example of the 1873-CC With Arrows quarter pictured in this article is the Eliasberg specimen.

Louis Eliasberg purchased it in the 1940s. When his collection was sold in 1997, this coin was described as "MS-63/65, proof-like." The obverse of the coin is fully proof-like, with the reverse being lustrous and frosty, similar to Uncirculated Seated quarters of the era. The obverse surfaces display “raised” die lines in various locations. There are a few noticeable "grease-marks" in the left field area. Grease marks occur when grease or dirt that is used to oil the die presses end up on the die during the striking of a coin. Although caution is used to prevent this from happening, mint workers can’t control everything. The overall beauty of the coin, especially when considering its rarity, captivates the viewer.

Mass meltings of pre-1874 silver dimes, quarters, and halves, due to higher bullion values, resulted in scant numbers surviving today.

For more information, contact Southgate Coins at 5032 S. Virginia St. Reno, NV 89502, or (775) 322-4455.

1. 1873-CC With Arrows quarter Eliasberg specimen – Auction, Bowers and Merena, April 1997. Mintage: 12,462

Condition Census: 1. Norweb specimen, NGC MS-65.

2. This Eliasberg specimen, PCGS MS-64

3. Two certified AU specimens.