In 1856, the U.S. Mint returned to the old design of pre-1853 by simply removing the arrowheads on either side of the date. The arrowheads had been placed there in 1853 to denote a reduction in the weight of the coins. By 1856, the mass quantities of the newer, lighter Quarter Dollars (and other denominations) overwhelmed the old-tenor coins, the vast majority of which had already been pulled from circulation and melted down. The removal of the arrowheads restored a simplicity to the design, improving not only the aesthetic appearance but also making it easier on the dies by removing two more devices that needed to be struck up.
The mintage of the 1856 Quarter Dollar was substantial, though nowhere near as large as the massive 1853 mintage. Many Mint State 1856 Quarter Dollars remain today, mostly in the MS63 and MS64 grades. Gems are scarce, but can be found with a little searching and the right offers. The highest grade assigned thus far to any 1856 Quarter Dollar by PCGS is MS66.
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