Welcome Sign-In | Register
Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 


1870-CC Double Eagle, AU53
Classic Western Rarity, Winter Plate Coin
Finest Certified at PCGS

1870-CC $20 AU53 PCGS. Variety 1-A. This historic rarity had a reported mintage of only 3,789 pieces, with attrition taking a heavy toll on those struck over the years. In terms of absolute rarity in the series of Liberty double eagles, the 1870-CC is surpassed only by the 1861 Paquet Reverse, the 1856-O, and the business strikes of 1882 and 1886. Doug Winter estimates that only 35-45 1870-CC twenties are known in all grades today. Three-quarters of the known survivors are no better than Fine-VF and are heavily bagmarked, making this the rarest date in the series from the standpoint of condition rarity. Only 8-10 AU coins are believed known, and no Uncirculated pieces are even rumored to exist. It is instructive to note that two of the most illustrious collections of gold coins to be sold in the 20th century, Louis Eliasberg and Harry Bass, had XF40 and XF45 coins in their respective collections. This was certainly not because they couldn't afford finer examples, as both had very deep pockets, but it is simply because high grade pieces such as this one were not available.

It is difficult to overestimate the rarity of this issue. Carson City gold is an avidly collected area of U.S. numismatics, but few serious collectors are able to own an 1870-CC in any grade. The coins that are known are owned by advanced collectors and it is often several years before a desirable example (XF or better) comes on the market. In Gold Coins of the Carson City Mint, this particular coin was tied for the number one spot on the Winter / Cutler Condition Census; however, since publication of that work in 2001 both an AU55 and an AU58 example have surfaced, and today this coin is the third finest known.

All 1870-CC double eagles are known to be softly struck. This piece is also weakly defined overall, but not any more so than other Type Two twenties, issues such as the 1869-S and 1870-S come to mind as coins that are almost never found with anything more than a mediocre strike. The surfaces have rich orange-gold coloration with faint traces of reflectivity still in evidence around the devices. As with all '70-CC twenties we have seen, this piece is liberally abraded. However, it lacks the numerous heavy marks that are often seen. In fact, the distinctive abrasions that are present can be listed and used as pedigree identifiers, which can also be seen in the plate used in the Winter / Cutler reference (page 147): an angling mark is located in the left obverse field out from Liberty's chin, a series of abrasions are clustered between and around stars 12 and 13, and on the reverse there is a long cut on the lower rim just below the NT in TWENTY. This is a very rare chance to acquire this highly-prized, key Carson City issue in upper Condition Census quality--an opportunity that may not present itself again for many years. Population: 1 in 53, 0 finer (2/14).

Roster of High-Grade 1870-CC Double Eagles
1. AU58 NGC. The finest-known specimen, recently discovered and stolen during a Brinks transport soon afterward.
2. AU55 NGC. Baltimore Auction (Bowers and Merena, 3/2009), lot 3909, realized $414,000.
3. AU53 PCGS. Doug Winter; Nevada collection; Universal Coin and Bullion; Isaac Edmunds Collection (Bowers and Merena, 6/2002), lot 2371; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2004), lot 3129, realized $368,000; the present coin.
4. AU53 NGC. Denver Signature (Heritage, 8/2006), lot 5645, realized $359,375; Philadelphia ANA Sale (Stack's Bowers, 8/2012), lot 11039, realized $345,000.
5. AU53 NGC. Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 9/2003), lot 8296; Pre-Long Beach Sale (Ira and Larry Goldberg, 5/2010), lot 1712; Chicago ANA Sale (Stack's Bowers, 8/2011), lot 7762.
6. AU50 PCGS. FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2014), lot 5541, realized $329,000.
7. AU50 PCGS. Classics Sale (American Numismatic Rarities, 1/2004), lot 546.
8. AU50 NGC. Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 7/2004), lot 2288.
9. AU50 Cleaned, Uncertified. Baltimore Auction (Bowers and Merena, 2/2008), lot 2749.
10. AU50 Details ANACS. New York Signature (Heritage, 2/2014), lot 5418, realized $164,500.
From the Collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: N14284) (NGC ID# 2542, PCGS# 8958)

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  | PCGS Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Glossary of Terms

Auction Info

Auction Dates
March, 2014
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 2,060

Buyer's Premium per Lot:
17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

Heritage membership

sold in the last year

Join Now - It's Free

  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your

Consignments wanted

Only 5 days left to consign to the 2015 December 10 - 12 World Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong!

Learn about consigning with us

What I most appreciated was how thorough you were when we initially met, how you were conservative in your estimates, not trying to get me to consign by giving false expectations, and then for delivering above and beyond on your commitment to me of a wonderful marketing campaign and a first rate catalog and photos, all of which resulted in a final total price realized that was nicely higher than what you had told me to expect.
Adam Mervis,
Decatur, IL
View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit:

Video tutorial

Getting the most out of search

Recent auctions

2015 September 17 - 20 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
2015 September 17 - 20 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $11,642,180
2015 September 17 - 22 LB Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
2015 September 17 - 22 LB Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED SO FAR $5,252,337
2015 September 17 - 21 LB Expo World Currency Signature Auction - Long Beach
2015 September 17 - 21 LB Expo World Currency Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $1,015,415

© 2015 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved