Long time collector. new to low ball coins. Question is: does the date have to be readable to be considered as a low ball candidate?
Most of the time. PCGS will not certify if the date can't be ascertained. There are some coins where the date can be determined by other diagnostics, such as the 1916 Standing Liberty 25c, but if that's not possible, yes, the date needs to be readable.
One-year types, such as arrows & rays, can be determined, sure. Mint marks can also be useful, of course.
So the seated quarters, halves can be determined by motto, arrows, drapery correct?