1853/4 Overdate Liberty Seated Quarter Dollar

by Greg Johnson


Those who have collected coins for any length of time come to realize that the word “rare” only has meaning within context; when compared to other coins. Likewise, the word “common” can mean many different things. A “rare” Walking Liberty Half, for example, would be amongst the most common of seated quarters. The issue becomes even more complex when varieties are considered; particularly varieties within a relatively thinly collected series like seated quarters. The key confounding issue is simply the lack of information regarding populations and relative numbers of the varieties. So, while this month’s quarter is considered “common” within the context of Liberty Seated Quarter varieties, I prefer to think of it as one veteran seated dealer once described it to me, “much more popular with sellers than buyers.”


The 1853/4 quarter (PCGS Coin #5427) is a readily available coin that is listed in major catalogs and price guides. The attribution points are the bar of the 4, which appears under the 3 in the date, and a notable repunching of the right arrow. There is some debate regarding whether the underdigit is truly a 4, or possibly something else. The strength of the bar under the 3 digit, whether or not it is the upright of a 4, varies considerably, making the repunched arrow the more dependable attribution point. A total of 26 examples were reported in the 1993 LSCC survey and 31 in 2007. Though it represents a very small percentage of 1853 Arrows and Rays quarters, with some patience the variety can be found in almost any grade desired. The collector seeking an interesting, yet inexpensive, seated quarter variety might do well to consider a nice example of the 1853/4.

Images courtesy of Heritage.

Back to Quarter of Month Topic List

Back to Seated Quarter Top 25 Price Guide