1871-CC $20 AU55 NGC....
Exceptional 1871-CC Twenty, AU551871-CC $20 AU55 NGC. Following a limited production of 3,789 double eagles in its debut year of 1870, the Carson City Mint increased the mintage the following year to 17,387 pieces. As with most of the Carson City and San Francisco double eagles coined in the 1870s and 1880s, the entire mintage entered circulation. The few high grade (AU and Mint State) pieces known today have survived purely by chance. The lower-quality survivors are usually heavily abraded or damaged, placing even more emphasis on AU pieces.
The current NGC Census Report indicates that quite a few pieces have been certified in higher grades, 27 at last count. That figure undoubtedly includes quite a few resubmissions. For comparison, PCGS has never graded an example finer than AU55. Of the 27 finer NGC "coins" (but actually certification events), 21 grade AU58, and only six are MS60 or finer. We suggest an actual census that includes three or four Mint State pieces, perhaps 11 AU58 coins, and probably no more than 15 AU55 pieces.
With its pleasing light yellow color and wispy orange patina, this specimen is typical of most, showing moderate abrasions on each side but lacking any damage. Hints of prooflike surface remain visible in the protected areas around the devices. The strike is sharp, with slight weakness only near the borders. It is exceptional, ranking among the top three dozen known examples. Census: 24 in 55, 27 finer (4/09).(Registry values: N1793) (NGC ID# 26AB, PCGS# 8961)
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