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    1873-CC Liberty Double Eagle, MS61
    Elusive Branch Mint Twenty
    Only One Finer Coin at NGC

    1873-CC $20 MS61 NGC. Variety 1-A. The 1873-CC Liberty double eagle claims a modest mintage of 22,410 pieces and precious few were saved for numismatic purposes. It would be another 20 years before Augustus Heaton's work on mintmarked varieties would spark an interest in branch mint issues in general, and 60 years before President Roosevelt's 1933 Gold Recall would motivate astute numismatists to form systematic collections of high denomination gold coins, like double eagles. Before the 1930's, collectors were put off by the high face value of each coin in the double eagle series, where an example of even the most common issue represented a significant amount of spending power. Only the most well-heeled early 20th century collectors could afford to stockpile extensive date/mintmark runs of double eagles, and few were inclined to speculate on such a venture until Roosevelt's Presidential Order made collecting gold coins one of the few legal avenues for American citizens to invest in gold of any sort.

    As both a branch mint issue and a large denomination gold coin, the 1873-CC twenty had two strikes against it from the start. The entire mintage was released into circulation in the hard money economy of the American West, where the coins fulfilled their intended purpose admirably, suffering the normal attrition along the way. By the time collectors recognized the rarity and desirability of the 1873-CC, most of the surviving coins had experienced extensive wear on the devices, and almost every specimen showed excessive surface abrasions, with subdued mint luster. Although a few previously unknown examples surfaced in small hoards in the 1990's, the 1873-CC remains a scarce issue in all grades, and is particularly rare in Mint State.

    The present coin is a happy exception to the rule, an attractive MS61 specimen that shows only the minimum number of minor contact marks for the grade. A small, linear grease strike-through runs through a few letters in the motto. Fortunately, the 1873-CC was a well-made issue, and this coin exhibits the generally sharp definition typical of most Mint State survivors. The pleasing orange-gold surfaces radiate vibrant mint luster, with outstanding eye appeal. Census: 6 in 61, 1 finer (2/17).(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26AJ, PCGS# 8968)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2017
    4th-6th Tuesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,611

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