Coin Number 301

Here again, as in 1853-55 we see the addition of Arrows at the date. This time around the Arrows were again added on either side of the date to announce a small change in the silver content of the planchet, in an attempt to get Americans to adopt the Metric System. Half dollars were to be 12.5 grams which represented a change so negligible that the old standard weight was within the normal tolerance range for planchets. What is important is that these new 12.5 gram planchets needed official recognition (under the revised law of February 1873) even if the change was tiny, so again the Arrows were placed at the date. Notice here on this magnificent gem proof that the surfaces are essentially perfect. The toning is rather deep across the fields and most of Liberty, save for a blazing bright blast of silver white frost along her right thigh and the top of the shield. Perfectly matched on the reverse with the bright headlight portion on the eagle’s neck and upper part of the shield over his breast. Rich toning of blue, lilac and russet are seen intermixed over the balance of the coin. Only 750 pieces were struck in Proof in 1874, and this one is exceptional.