The famous 1853-O No Arrows half dollar, one of the rarest and most desirable of all Liberty Seated coins is featured as lot 3059 in Rarities Night of our November Expo Auction. Both sides exhibit moderate, yet even wear with all major design elements boldly outlined and the rims distinct from the peripheral features. Light golden and lilac toning is seen over desirable silver-gray surfaces. Notably, this 1853-O was the next-to-last coin acquired by Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. to complete his complete collection of U.S. coins by date and mintmark.
The absence of a recorded mintage figure for the 1853-O No Arrows half dollar in federal archives is not without precedent. The fact that New Orleans Mint personnel did not report the mintage of 1853-O No Arrows half dollars is likely because the Mint Act of February 21, 1853, made those coins obsolete. Estimates of the number of 1853-O No Arrows half dollars struck vary from several hundred to several thousand pieces, certainly no more than 3,000 to 4,000 coins. Regardless of how many examples were actually produced, virtually all were destroyed through melting, particularly after the Act of February 21, 1853, replaced these coins with their lighter-weight Arrows and Rays counterparts. Today, only four examples of this rare and enigmatic issue are positively confirmed to exist, the first of which was announced by John W. Haseltine circa 1881. The most recently discovered specimen made its numismatic auction debut in our August 2012 Philadelphia ANA Rarities Night Auction.
Obviously one of the most significant offerings in this sale, the opportunity to acquire the Eliasberg specimen of the 1853-O No Arrows half dollar – second finest of only four known – deserves the attention of specialists in Liberty Seated coinage or the New Orleans Mint, as well as connoisseurs with a taste for numismatic rarities. We anticipate keen bidder interest and fierce competition when this coin comes up for auction on November 14.
For more information about the Stack’s Bowers Galleries November 2023 Whitman Winter Expo Auction visit StacksBowers.com. To consign your coins or paper money to one of our Showcase auctions or to our Collectors Choice Online auctions call 800-458-4646 or email Consign@StacksBowers.com.