Poor 1. It is as low as it gets on Dr. William H. Sheldon’s 1 to 70
grading scale that’s used today for U.S. coins. The grade is generally
defined as representing a coin that’s clear enough to identify, with a
date and Mint mark that may be nearly worn smooth and a reverse that
can be nearly blank as all the details have worn. Generally, it’s hard
to find a Poor 1 coin that doesn’t have another problem, like
corrosion/environmental damage, harsh cleaning or rim damage.
1889-CC Morgan dollar, Poor 1 CAC
The 1889-CC Morgan dollar is the toughest Carson City Mint issue in
the series and is always popular with collectors. It has a low mintage
of 350,000 pieces since it was struck in the second half of the year,
and after the Carson City Mint had ceased striking dollars in 1885. At
the time, Carson City had a modest population of around 4,000 people
and it had generally higher production costs than other Mints.
As Rusty Goe wrote in his book The Mint on Carson Street,
“Carson City Mint employees were eager to get back to work in July
of 1889. Four years of dormancy had left the facility in a state of
disrepair, but clean-up crews removed the cobwebs, aired out the
rooms, and dusted off the machinery in preparation for a resurrection
of coinage operations.”
Oh the stories that this dollar could share!
Graded Poor 1 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. but with a green
Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker indicating that it’s solid for the
grade, it sold for just under $500 at a 2014 Heritage auction.
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