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1871-CC Half Eagle, MS61
Only Four Certified Mint State Pieces

1871-CC $5 MS61 PCGS. Variety 1-A. The Carson City Mint began coinage operations in February 1870, even though Congress authorized the facility seven years earlier. The beginning of construction was delayed for three years due to the Civil War, and three more years passed before the building was completed. Coinage equipment had to be installed, further delaying operations. Nearly a dozen years had passed since silver was discovered in the region in the late 1850s. Half eagles were among the denominations first coined in 1870.

Although the U.S. Mint's Nevada branch was established to serve the silver interests, gold coinage formed a significant part of its production from the 1870 opening until the 1893 closing. Carson City Mint half eagle production totaled 20,770 coins in 1871, along with 8,085 eagles, and 17,387 double eagles. Gold coins of all denominations were needed in circulation, and few of those coins were held back. Today, nearly every surviving example of all three gold denominations shows considerable wear. Mint State pieces are extremely rare. For all three denominations, PCGS and NGC have combined to certify exactly 13 Mint State 1871-CC gold pieces. Among those submissions are four 1871-CC half eagles graded MS63 NGC, MS62 PCGS, MS61 PCGS, and MS61 NGC.

Although there are two finer certified pieces, this remarkable example will easily rival those other pieces for its aesthetic qualities. This sharply detailed specimen has rich orange-gold luster with splendid surfaces showing only minimal surface marks. The fields are reflective and approach a prooflike appearance. The present 1871-CC half eagle will make a wonderful addition to an advanced collection of Carson City Mint coinage. Population: 1 in 61, 1 finer (3/13).(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 26AB, PCGS# 8323)

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Auction Dates
April, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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