Carson City mint coins are much sought after by collectors and investors. Many, if not most, of these coins are of low mintage and are quite rare. They tend to command high prices.
Most collectors are familiar with and have many specimens of coins minted by the Philadelphia, Denver and SanFrancisco mints. In addition to the “big three”, the US has had a number of lesser mints, which during their history have produced many now-sought-after coins. The Carson City, Nevada, Mint is one of these lesser known US mints and was functioning from 1870 to 1893, It was constructed at the height of the silver boom in the Western US. Both gold and silver coins were produced. They all bear the coveted “CC” mint mark. A picture of the Carson City mint, designed in the Renaissance Revival style, is shown to the right. In 1939, the building was sold to the state of Nevada and has now become the Nevada State Museum.
Silver Coins of the Carson City Mint
The first coin struck at the Carson City mint was a Seated Liberty dollar, in 1870. The following silver coins were produced at Carson City:
Seated Liberty Dime (1871-1878) – Over 20,000,000 Carson City dimes were minted.
Twenty Cent Piece (1875-1976) – A total of 143,290 of these unusual coins were produced at Carson City. They are all quite rare.
Seated Liberty Quarter (1870-1878) – Including the very rare 1870-CC and 1872-CC varieties.
Seated Liberty Half Dollar (1870-1878) – The 1874 and 1878 are the lowest mintages, with 59,000 and 62,000, respectively.
Seated Liberty Dollar (1870-1873) – All dates are extremely rare. Only 1,376 1871 dollars were minted.
Trade Dollar (1873-1885) – The 1878 coin is the most sought after, with only 62,000 minted.
Morgan Dollar (1878-1893) – These are among the most minted and widely available “CC” coins. Many collector start their Carson City collections with these Morgan Dollars because they tend to be the most affordable of the Carson City Mint coins
Gold Coins of the Carson City Mint
Although predominantly a silver coin mint, gold coins were also minted at Carson City and include the following:
Half Eagle or Five Dollar Gold Piece (1870-1884; 1890-1893) – a total of just over 700,000 were struck.
Eagle or Ten Dollar Gold Piece (1870-1884; 1890-1893) – just under 300,00 “CC” eagles were minted.
Double Eagle or Twenty Dollar Gold Piece (1870-1885; 1889-1893) – Over 864,000 Liberty Head Double Eagles were struck at Carson City.
Most Sought After Carson City Mint Coins
With so many extremely low-mintage coins, it is somewhat silly to come up with the most sought after Carson City coins. Many of these coins would be a prize in any collection. Nonetheless, there is always the creme de la creme. The rarest Carson City Mint coin is the 1873-CC “no arrows” dime. Only one specimen of this coin is known to exist. It is graded by the PGCS Grading Service as MS-65. For years this coin was part of the famous Eliasburg Collection. It has changed hands several times since. Most recently, in 2004, this specimen was purchased for the princely sum of $891,250!
Many other Carson City coins are quite rare and command extremely high prices. Some of the other very rare pieces include 1873-CC “no arrows” quarter (5 pieces known), the 1876 twenty-cent piece (about 20 known specimens), the 1870-CC quarter (8,340 minted), and the 1874-CC dime (10,817 minted). These are considered by some to be among the top five rarities, but there are many more low-mintage Carson City issues that are exceedingly rare.
A Notable Homecoming
Recently, a specimen of the very rare 1873-CC quarter without arrows was “repatriated” to Carson City collector by Northern Nevada Coin, bringing home a legendary rarity to where it was minted some 140+ years ago. The full article, published in Nevada Appeal, recounts the homecoming event in some detail.
- Factoid: Of the 4,000 coins struck without arrows only five are known to survive today. Most were melted due to the Mint Act of Feb. 12, 1873. (Source: Nevada Appeal)
The coin dealer who brokered, Allen Rowe, summarized the whole affair as follows (Source: Nevada Appeal): “Value is what most people want to know about this coin, but with only five known in a heavily sought after arena, it is subjective. Having said that, the coin traded in the six figures to an equally excited collector.”
Great Sources for”CC” Coins
As you can see, Carson City Mint coins are highly sought after. In the city of Carson City, there are several coin shops that specialize in these rarities. But perhaps you are not close to Carson City, Nevada. Many “CC” coins are traded on eBay and Amazon. These are some of the best places to get a good look at the prevailing prices and excellent buys can be found.
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