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Back to the Small Silver posted by Electric Peak Collection

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

Do I have the 'buy silver' thing down yet?


After getting all the photographing done and posting about my new 1828 cent, I almost forgot to share my other new purchase, an 1853 no arrows half dime.


Those of you following the prices of gold and silver - and reading the journals! - know that the price ratio recently fell below 50. Prior to 1850, the ratio had been 15 1/2. But all the new gold from California upset things, effectively raising the price of silver. As a result, silver coins were largely removed from circulation to be melted, their bullion value being greater than the coins' face value.


To solve the problem, the weight of minor silver coinage was reduced early in 1853. Coins produced under the new standard had arrows placed before and after the date. In 1856 the arrows were no longer used to indicate the reduced weight, but the coins remained light...


Only 135,000 1853 no arrows half dimes were minted, compared to the 13,210,020 - almost 100 times as many - made with arrows that year. Considering that many without arrows probably were destroyed, it's a little surprising that the populations and prices are not as grossly different. For grades 63 and above, combined NGC+PCGS populations are 5 or 6 to 1 (more with arrows), but the price ratio (PCGS guide) is about 3 at MS63, about 1 1/4 at MS66, and actually reverses to less than 1/2 at MS67 despite a consistent population ratio. I guess these numbers say something about what coins were deliberately saved at the time!


Anyway, here's my $1.24 worth of MS66 silver. The photo doesn't capture the nice color of the toning, which is nicely reddish. But you get the idea.



See more journals by Electric Peak Collection

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