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    Description

    1874-CC Liberty Double Eagle, MS62
    Number 1 Coin Winter's Condition Census
    Tied for Finest at PCGS

    1874-CC $20 MS62 PCGS Secure. Variety 1-A. The Carson City Mint produced a substantial mintage of 115,085 Liberty double eagles in 1874, the first time the famous Western facility struck twenty dollar gold coins in large numbers. Unfortunately, the 1874-CC was not a well-produced issue, and most of the coins were softly struck in many areas, with grainy mint luster.

    There was an acute need for large denomination gold coinage in the regional economy at the time, explaining the unusually large mintage. The coins were released into circulation, where they served their intended purpose well in the following years. Few CC-mint coins were exported during this time frame and only a few high-quality specimens have been recovered from European sources over the years. There was no numismatic interest in double eagles in the 1870s, as the high face value of each coin made collecting extensive date runs of the series too expensive for most 19th century collectors. In addition, there was little interest in branch mint issues of any kind before 1893, when Augustus Heaton published his landmark treatise, Mint Marks. As a result, the large mintage circulated widely for decades before collectors began searching for high-quality specimens, which had suffered extensive wear and attrition along the way. The average example seen today is heavily abraded, in addition to the noted striking problems and deficient luster characteristics. Mint State examples are elusive in today's market, especially with sharp details and vibrant luster. David Akers noted, "In my view, this issue, because of its closeness in date and mintage to the common 1875-CC, is unappreciated and underrated."

    The present coin traces its history to the Alto Collection, Part II (Stack's, 10/1991), lot 1085, where it was described as:

    "1874 'CC' Brilliant Uncirculated. From an old auction sale described in the cut-out description as follows: '1447. 1874 $20. Carson City. Obv. has full proof surface, reverse Uncirculated. Has 1 or two very small nicks. A gem, and very rare.' "



    The coin realized $10,450, a strong price at the time. Afterwards, it was part of the noted Vanderbilt Collection for many years before it next appeared in the recent Baltimore Auction (Stack's Bowers, 3/2018), where it realized a record price for the issue of $78,000, even though it was only graded MS61 PCGS at the time. Clearly, discerning collectors have always recognized this coin was special, no matter what holder it was in. In Doug Winter's Gold Coins of the Carson City Mint, edited by Heritage Co-Chairman Jim Halperin, this coin occupies the number 1 position in the Condition Census for this date. It offers sharply detailed design elements, aside from the slightest softness on the lowest stars on the left. The pleasing honey-gold surfaces are lightly marked, with a mix of satiny mint luster on the reverse and prooflike reflectivity on the obverse. This coin combines the highest available technical quality with outstanding eye appeal and an intriguing pedigree. Registry Set enthusiasts should bid accordingly. Population: 3 in 62, 0 finer (7/18).
    Ex: Old Time Collection; Alto Collection, Part II (Stack's, 10/1991), lot 1085, as Brilliant Uncirculated, realized $10,450; A.J. Vanderbilt Collection; Baltimore Auction (Stack's Bowers, 3/2018), lot 10405, as MS61 PCGS, realized $78,000. The number 1 coin on Doug Winter's Condition Census.(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26AP, PCGS# 8971)

    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
    August, 2018
    14th-19th Tuesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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