1853-O 50C Arrows and Rays AU50 Certification #24941202, PCGS #6276
To comply with the Coinage Act of 1853, the U.S. Mints were required to strike large quantities of reduced weight silver coins under the new standard to replace those made previously under the old standard. This was more than the Philadelphia Mint could handle, so some of the burden went to the Mint at New Orleans. In previous years, particularly between 1843 and 1850, the New Orleans Mint employees were used to producing large quantities of Half Dollars, and they rose to the task once again in 1853. By the end of the year, over 1.3 million Arrows & Rays Half Dollars emerged from the New Orleans Mint. Because of pressure from type collectors, demand for these coins was high in virtually the whole specturm of grades. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Mint State coins, which have turned out to be quite scarce. They tend to be of average quality and they are very rare in MS64 and better conditions. The obverses are prone to spidery die cracks, most likely caused by extra pressures required to strike up the rays on the reverses.