1854-O Half Dollar Arrows - 1854-O 50C, Arrows, NCS VG Details. This holed, lightly cleaned, Southern branch mint 1854-O Half Dollar grades VG “details” because the rims on both sides are raised and more than three letters of LIBERTY show. The hole, which is about the size of one of the stars, is between Stars 3 and 4 in the field. On the reverse it obscures part of a leaf and a tiny bit of the eagle’s wing. However, overall, the devices are clear and easy to see. The portrait of Liberty and the eagle are light gray along with the stars, date, and legend. The fields are somewhat darker gray. There is even, light wear, consistent with the grade and some abrasion marks especially on the effigy of Liberty.
Christian Gobrecht designed the Seated Liberty half dollar. The obverse depicts Liberty seated looking over her shoulder to the left. She balances the Union Shield inscribed LIBERTY with her right hand and holds a staff on which is placed a Phrygian cap in her left. There are seven stars to the left and six to the right interrupted by her head and the capped pole. The date is below with arrowheads on each side. The reverse shows the heraldic eagle looking left. It is surrounded by the required inscription and the denomination written as HALF DOL. below. The mintmark is above the F in HALF. Dentils are around the periphery of both sides of the coin.
In 1853 the weight of the half dollar was reduced from 13.36 grams to 12.44. To signify this change, arrows were added to the date and rays surrounded the eagle. In 1854, the new Mint Director, James Ross Snowden ordered that the coins be issued without the rays. No doubt this order was given to increase die life and simplify die sinking.
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