1874-S LIBERTY SEATED 50C, ARROWS MS65+
FABULOUS ORIGINAL SURFACES. JUST 2 HIGHER AT NGC.
NGC Graded Higher:
In 1874, Laurent Winery was founded in Napa Valley by Jean Laurent, an immigrant from Bordeaux who came to California several decades before to seek riches in the Gold Rush. Could this 1874 liberty seated half dollar, minted in nearby San Francisco, have been used by Laurent to found the operation that was later purchased and incorporated into Markham Vineyards?
Congress intended the Mint Act of February 12, 1873 to serve as a general oevrhaul of the nation's coinage system. Among its results were the demise of the Three-Cent Silver and the Half Dime and the introduction of the Trade Dollar in place of the standard Silver Dollar. Effects in the Half Dollar series were less profound and confined to a slight weight increase from 12.44 grams to 12.50 grams. This was apparently done to make United States coinage conform more closely to the metric system.
Once again, Mint officials felt that a special feature was needed to distinguish the new coinage from its lighter-weight predecessor. Harkening back to the early 1850s, arrows were placed at the date beginning in February of 1873 and continuing through 1874. Coinage of business strike Half Dollars of the Arrows, Motto type was accomplished primarily at the Philadelphia Mint, although the Carson City and San Francisco facilities also contributed limited mintages.