1876 LIBERTY SEATED 25C, MOTTO PR68
GEM PROOF. TIED WITH 1 OTHER FOR HIGHEST GRADED AT PCGS.
1876 LIBERTY SEATED - TYPE 5 25C
In 1876, during a performance of the popular play, The Two Orphans, a fire broke out in the Brooklyn Theater. The night of the catastrophe, recalls one of the few survivors, was “one of the biggest galleries" he had seen as there was an estimated one thousand patrons in attendance. When the fire was detected, actors tried in vain to extinguish it as grew rapidly. At the end of the night, at least 278 people were killed by suffocation. This 1876 quarter recalls an event that ranks third in most costly the theater disasters in US history.
An omnibus bill, the Mint Act of February 12, 1873 resulted in many changes in the United States coinage system. The one that most conerns us here is the bill's attempt to introduce the metric system into the nation's coinage. For the Quarter, this meant a slight weight increase from 6.22 grams to 6.25 grams. Congress mandated that the new coins were to bear a distinguishing mark and, looking back to similar circumstances during the mid-1850s, the Mint once again selected arrows flanking the obverse date as this feature. Authorities deemed that the arrows would be necessary for just two years from 1873-1874, after which coinage continued at the new weight standard without a distinguishing mark. As a two-year type, the Arrows, Motto Seated Quarter has long enjoyed strong collector and investor demand. Mintages for the two proof deliveries of this type are roughly commensuate with those of other Seated Quarters from this era, but heightened interest means that the 1873 Arrows and 1874 can both be quite elusive from a market availability standpoint. This is particularly true of coins that grade at or above Proof-65.