Ron Guth: The total mintage for all 1853 Half Dimes was over 13 million pieces, an enormous increase over any previous year. The reason for this increase was a change in the laws that reduced the weight of the Half Dimes. This meant that all of the old silver coins still in circulation were worth more than their face value, thus they needed to be recalled and reminted at the new, lower weight. To denote the weight change, the Mint added arrows on either side of the date, making it easy for anyone to quickly identify the new coins versus the old. However, before this change was made, a very small number of 1853 Half Dimes were minted using the old standard and, of course, without the arrows at the date. The official mintage for the No Arrows 1853 Half Dime stands at 135,000, less than one-tenth the mintage of the 1853 With Arrows. This gives the 1853 No Arrows Half Dime the second lowest mintage of any Seated Liberty Half Dime date, regardless of the originating mint -- only the1847 has a smaller mintage. This low mintage does not translate directly into a high value, however, because sufficient numbers survived (saved by collectors?) to keep the pricing at a reasonable level. In my opinion, this is one of the best values in the Half Dime series.
Mint State 1853 No Arrows Half Dimes are scarce, but not rare, and they usually appear in MS63, followed by MS64. Gems are very rare, though about a dozen MS65 and MS66 examples (combined) exist. The finest example is a single PCGS MS68.
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