Most Expensive Coins

1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter: A Complete Guide

1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter

The 1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter is a fascinating and highly sought-after coin in the world of numismatics. Produced at the Carson City Mint, this quarter has a rich history and is known for its rarity and unique design features. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the 1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter, covering its history, specifications, design, rarity, and values.

History of 1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter

The year 1873 was notable for significant changes in U.S. coinage. Due to a decline in silver prices, partly driven by the abundant silver from the Comstock Lode, the U.S. government decided to increase the silver content in coins. This minor increase from 0.1800 to 0.1808 ounces of silver per quarter resulted in a design change that included arrows at the date. The Carson City Mint initially produced 4,000 quarters without arrows before the change, but most of these were melted down, leaving very few survivors.

With the new silver content approved, the Carson City Mint produced 12,462 quarters with arrows at the date in 1873. However, these coins were not saved by collectors at the time and quickly disappeared into circulation, making them extremely rare today.

Specifications

  • Designer: Robert Ball Hughes/Christian Gobrecht
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Diameter: 24.30 millimeters
  • Weight: 6.30 grams
  • Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
  • Mintage: 12,462 (with arrows)
  • Mint: Carson City (CC)

Basic Design

The Liberty Seated Quarter features Lady Liberty seated on a rock, holding a shield in one hand and a pole topped with a Phrygian cap in the other. The reverse depicts an eagle with a shield on its chest, clutching arrows, and an olive branch. The arrows at the date were added in 1873 to signify the increase in silver content.

Obverse (Front)

The obverse side of the 1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter features the classic design by Christian Gobrecht, showcasing Lady Liberty seated on a rock. Here are the key elements of the obverse design:

  • Lady Liberty: Depicted sitting on a rock, Liberty holds a shield in her right hand, which rests on the ground, symbolizing defense. In her left hand, she holds a pole topped with a Phrygian cap, representing freedom.
  • Stars: Surrounding Liberty are 13 stars, representing the original 13 colonies.
  • Date: Positioned below Lady Liberty, the date “1873” is prominently displayed. For the quarters with arrows, small arrowheads flank the date on both sides, indicating the increased silver content.

Reverse (Back)

The reverse side, also designed by Christian Gobrecht, features an eagle and various symbols of strength and peace:

  • Eagle: The central figure is a majestic eagle with outstretched wings, clutching an olive branch in its right talon and a bundle of arrows in its left. The olive branch symbolizes peace, while the arrows represent military readiness and strength.
  • Shield: A shield is positioned on the eagle’s chest, symbolizing defense and protection.
  • Inscriptions: Above the eagle, the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are inscribed, while the denomination “QUAR. DOL.” (short for Quarter Dollar) is inscribed below the eagle.
  • Mintmark: The “CC” mintmark, indicating the Carson City Mint, is found below the eagle’s tail feathers, identifying the coin’s origin.

Rarity

The 1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter is rare in both its no-arrows and arrow varieties. The no-arrows version is particularly scarce, with fewer than 10 known examples. The arrow version, while more common, is still rare, especially in higher grades. The survival rate of these coins is low due to their circulation in a time and place where coin collecting was uncommon.

No-Arrows Variety

  • Total Known Examples: Less than 10
  • Grades: Mostly Mint State coins with a few circulated examples

Arrows Variety

  • Total Known Examples: Around 30 documented by major grading services
  • Grades: Few in higher grades, with most examples in Very Fine (VF) condition or lower

Condition Values

The value of the 1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter varies significantly based on its condition and variety. The no-arrows variety can fetch extremely high prices due to its rarity. Even lower-grade arrow varieties are valuable, with prices increasing substantially for coins in better conditions.

  • No-Arrows Variety:
    • Mint State (MS-64): Up to $336,000
    • Circulated Grades: Prices vary widely but remain high
  • Arrows Variety:
    • Mint State (MS-64): Up to $336,000
    • About Uncirculated (AU-55): Significantly less but still valuable
    • Very Fine (VF-20): Considerably lower but remains in high demand

Also Read – 1804 Draped Bust Quarter: A Guide for Coin Enthusiasts

Conclusion

The 1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter is a coin of great historical significance and rarity. Both the no-arrows and arrows varieties offer unique stories and challenges for collectors. Whether you are a seasoned numismatist or a new collector, understanding the history, specifications, and market value of this coin enhances its allure. The 1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter stands as a testament to a pivotal moment in U.S. coinage history and remains a prized addition to any collection.

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