1889-CC Dollar, MS63 Deep Mirror Prooflike
    Brilliant and Highly Contrasted

    1889-CC $1 MS63 Deep Mirror Prooflike PCGS. CAC. The 1889-CC Morgan dollar is the second and most elusive of the three Carson City Mint keys to the series, along with its bookends, the 1879-CC and 1893-CC.

    The superintendent of the Carson City Mint, James Crawford, died on March 8, 1885. Coincidentally, incoming President Grover Cleveland appointed a new Secretary of the Treasury, Daniel Manning, on the same day as Crawford's death. Crawford was a well-loved superintendent who had served with honor for 10 years at Carson City. Rusty Goe writes in The Mint on Carson Street:

    " ... his death triggered a knee-jerk reaction in Washington; 11 days later, on March 19, 1885, the Treasury ordered that the Carson City Mint be closed for the year, resulting in an economic setback to the crestfallen townspeople of Carson City.

    "Crawford's successor William Garrard was appointed to the office on April 1st serving in his position as mint superintendent until 1889; he is not given much credit for anything other than laying off the entire staff of approximately 80 employees."

    Garrard did, nonetheless, supervise the transfer to Treasury vaults of nearly 3.2 million silver dollars dated 1882-CC, 1883-CC, 1884-CC, and 1885-CC, which coins would form the bulk of the GSA sales nearly a century later.

    The yearlong hiatus in Carson City turned into an extended four-year period during which no coins were struck. It would take a new presidential administration in Washington, that of Benjamin Harrison, before the Carson City Mint reopened for coinage in 1889. (Harrison reopened the mint as a political favor in return for Nevada's support during the presidential campaign.)

    It was the dawning of a new era at the Nevada mint, one that would turn out to be its swan song. The unpopular superintendent Garrard was gotten rid of, replaced by the respected city undertaker, Sam Wright. A new (and apparently quite talented) chief coiner was named, Charles H. Colburn. Although some 350,000 1889-CC silver dollars were struck, Goe maintains that much of the coinage was later melted, for reasons not fully understood today.

    Many surviving Mint State 1889-CC dollars are of remarkably high quality. Goe writes that "a relatively high percentage of these handsome new dollars displayed deep mirrored prooflike surfaces, gradually descending to brilliant prooflike, and tapering off to semiprooflike."

    This piece has bright, sparkling, mirrorlike fields that set up strong cameo contrast against the devices. The design elements are fully struck, and each side is brilliant. A few small- to medium-sized abrasions are scattered over each side, none worthy of individual mention. Population: 46 in 63 Deep Mirror Prooflike, 15 finer (2/13).
    Ex: Central States Signature (Heritage, 4-5/2009), lot 2624, where it brought $28,750.(Registry values: P9, N4719) (NGC ID# 2559, PCGS# 97191)

    Weight: 26.73 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

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

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    24th-28th Wednesday-Sunday
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