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    Description

    1870-CC Double Eagle, XF40
    Important First-Year Rarity

    1870-CC $20 XF40 PCGS Secure. Variety 1-A. The first settlers arrived in Eagle Valley in 1851 and formed Carson County, part of Utah Territory. They established a trading post to serve those on the gold migration to California. As the migration dwindled, the settlers returned to Salt Lake City, and the abandoned valley was sold to Abraham Curry for $500 and a few horses. Curry established Carson City in 1858, and a year later came the discovery of the great Comstock Lode. The silver and gold was initially sent over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the San Francisco Mint, but mine operators soon lobbied for a local branch Mint.

    Congress authorized a branch Mint at Carson City, Nevada Territory in March 1863, and construction of the facility began in 1866 when the cornerstone was laid on September 24. Transportation costs for the facility ran far over the $150,000 appropriation, further delaying construction. Finally, machinery arrived late in 1868, and equipment tests were conducted in 1869. However, the first dies were delayed in Philadelphia, and finally arrived in January 1870. The first coins were Seated dollars that were minted on February 11, and the first double eagles were struck a month later on March 10. Just 24 years later, the Carson City Mint ceased coinage production on June 1, 1893.

    Two varieties are described for the small mintage of 3,789 1870-CC double eagles, and they are easily identified by the mintmark position on the reverse. Variety 1-A has the CC mintmark centered over the right upright of the N in TWENTY, while variety 2-B has the mintmark centered over the space between the N and T in that word. While the 1-A die pair appears to be more plentiful than the 2-B, neither variety can be called common as Winter estimates a total population of less than 50 coins for both varieties, and no Mint State examples are known. The entire mintage was issued into circulation in Nevada and attrition took a heavy toll. All surviving examples are plagued with condition issues as Doug Winter notes:

    "Every 1870-CC double eagle that I have ever seen has excessive abrasions on the surfaces. These are normally very deep and conspicuous. In addition, the rims frequently have noticeable bumps or bruises."



    The 1870-CC is one of the most famous issues to originate at the historic Nevada facility, also being the first double eagle issue struck at the Carson City Mint and a spectacular rarity that is among the most widely acclaimed issues in the entire series of Liberty twenties. It is surpassed in overall rarity only by the ultra-rare 1861 Paquet, the 1854-O, the 1856-O, and the business strikes of 1882 and 1886, but none of these important issues garner more attention than is generated by the appearance of a 1870-CC double eagle.

    The present piece, while softly defined as usual, lacks the abrasions that Winter describes for the typical example, although myriad minuscule handling marks are present. Like most or all known examples, this piece has been cleaned, but does not display the usual heavy hairlines that most cleaned gold coins exhibit.(Registry values: N10218)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26A8, PCGS# 8958)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    View Certification Details from PCGS

    The Confident Carson City Coin Collector
    by Rusty Goe

    The Carson City Mint’s celebrated legacy — replete with landmark achievements, setbacks, mysteries and tall tales — is covered in exacting detail in Goe’s three-volume set.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2017
    4th-9th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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