[The following article is published courtesy of DLRC Press and its authors, Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert. This information was originally published in 1993 in The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars.]
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PROOFS: 700 (Breen says 750)
- Authors’ Research Effort: moderate
- Number of Die Marriages Documented: 9
- Number of Head Dies Identified: 8
- Number of Tail Dies Identified: 7
- Number of Collar Reed Counts Identified: 2 (145, 154)
- Standard Diameter or Diameter Range: 1.200, 1.202 inches
- Number of Major Varieties: 3
- WB-101. SMALL ARROWS. (1 HEAD DIE)
Usually found as a proof and by far scarcer than WB- 102, this variety has small arrows (.090 inches long). The size is easily recognized when compared with large arrows. Additionally, the arrow heads are much closer to the denticles than the rock. One head and two tail dies are known for this variety. Business strikes are rare, proofs common. (Breen-4982)
- WB-102. LARGE ARROWS. (6 HEAD DIES)
The most common variety of this date, the arrows are large (.115 inches long) and almost always pointing slightly up. Unlike the arrows pieces of the 1850′s, arrows positional variations exist. Many marriages with large arrows are available but we have not made a serious effort to document them to date. (Breen4981)
- WB-103. LARGE ARROWS RECUT OVER SMALL ARROWS. (1 HEAD DIE)
This variety has the large arrows punched over small arrows, remnants of which are visible at the junction of the arrow shafts and arrowhead under both large arrows. Because the small arrow remnants are in a recessed area, they will be visible even on very low grade coins. The end of the left arrow shaft points to the crossbar of the 4; much lower than most other arrows halves. (Breen-Unlisted)
- Most 1874 Liberty Seated Half Dollars seen have been strongly struck.
- All 1874 coins are found with an arrow at each side of the date signifying a weight standard change made in 1873 from 192.0 to 192.9 grains.
- One tail die included in WB- 102 has interesting “haywire” die scratches in the eagle’s right wing.