US Coins

Tough-to-find CC Morgan brings $499 in Poor 1

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. 

The Coin:

1889-CC Morgan dollar, Poor 1 CAC

The Price:


The Story:

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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