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1871-CC $20 AU53 NGC....

2009 March Baltimore, MD Signature US Coin Auction #1126

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Auction Ended On: Mar 29, 2009
Item Activity: 11 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Sheraton Inner Harbor
300 S. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 962-8300
Auction Room: Meeting Room "Severn 1"

Desirable 1871-CC Double Eagle, AU53
Second-Rarest CC-Mint Twenty
1871-CC $20 AU53 NGC. Well worn and heavily bagmarked is the usual state of most survivors of the 1871-CC double eagle issue. After opening in 1870, the Carson City Mint saw an increase of more than 800% in the gold deposits in the following year. However, that surge in deposits did not translate into a huge increase in double eagle coinage. This was due partly because the mint could equally supply assayed gold bars as well as coinage, and many miners preferred that medium to coins.
Nonetheless, the 1871-CC double eagle was produced to the extent of 14,687 coins. (Rusty Goe's The Mint on Carson Street notes, "Some references list the mintage for 1871-CC double eagles as 17,387, although official U.S. mint records have reported it as 14,687 since 1887.") While that was an improvement of nearly 290% over the previous year, it apparently failed to make a dent in the region's needs. Most were swallowed in the maws of commerce, and today the average certified survivor, estimated to be only a couple of hundred coins, only grades XF40 to XF45. This estimate gibes with the total NGC/PCGS certified population data, which show 276 submission events.
This splendid AU53 example is head and shoulders above the norm for the issue, with much original luster remaining on both sides and splendid deep, mellow orange-gold coloration. The strike is delightfully bold overall, with all stars showing their centrils and only minor softness on the high points of Liberty's hair. A few moderate abrasions that dot the surfaces are in keeping with the issue and grade, although they are neither numerous nor bothersome.
The 1871-CC double eagle is, by a wide margin, the second-rarest double eagle issue from the Carson City Mint. One fundamental distinction that numismatists would do well to keep in mind is that between conditional rarity and fundamental rarity. While there are many coins that are conditionally elusive in high grades (many of them awfully nice to look at), coins such as the present piece, which are rare in all grades and have been so nearly since their creation, are among the most desired issues in all of U.S. numismatics. And with good reason.
From The Belle Collection of Carson City Coinage.
(Registry values: N1793) (NGC ID# 26AB, PCGS# 8961)

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