US Coins

Carson City Mint coins headline at upcoming Heritage sale

Some exciting Carson City Mint coins from the famed Nevada facility are ones to watch at Heritage’s Nov. 11 to 14 U.S. Coins Signature auction, including a pair of coveted dimes from the Prestwick Collection.

An 1873-CC Seated Liberty, Arrows at Date dime graded Mint State 65 by Numismatic Guaranty Co. is one of just two confirmed Mint State survivors from a mintage of 18,791 pieces. The arrows at either side of the date were included on some 1873 and 1874 dimes to recognize that in 1873 the dime’s weight was increased slightly, to 2.5 grams.

Heritage adds about the coin in the auction, “The same reverse was employed by the Carson City Mint for the first four years of Seated dime coinage, and some 1872-CC dimes and all genuine 1873-CC and 1874-CC dimes will show an upsweeping, arcing die crack through the mintmark.”

This dime was offered at Heritage’s June 2014 sale of the Gene Gardner Collection, where it sold for just shy of $200,000. There Gardner called his dime “remarkable” adding, “Just standing on its own to be so well-struck and beautifully toned would place it high in the pantheon of Seated dimes. But to be such a rarity, in addition, places it right at the very top of that universe.”

Heritage observes, “Moderate pinkish-purple toning with pale blue accents liberally covers both sides although the palette range is a bit broader on the reverse,” noting, “Only scattered, minor marks are consistent with the grade.”

Also once in the Gardner collection is an 1874-CC Seated Liberty, Arrows at Date dime graded MS-63 by Professional Coin Grading Service. It was offered at Superior’s 1987 sale of the Buddy Ebsen Collection where it was called the finest-known — “An absolutely awesome coin and in this grade, a legendary rarity” — and brought $26,400. When offered at Heritage’s October 2014 Gardner auction, it was still the finest-certified, but since that sale one higher-graded coin is recorded at NGC, though Rusty Goe notes in The Confident Carson City Coin Collector that the MS-64 NGC coin’s existence as a separate piece is unverified.

Gardner said of his dime, “I just do not know enough superlatives to do justice to the description of this coin. Perhaps the Superior catalog from which it was purchased summed it up best with just a few words, ‘a legendary rarity.’ ”

Heritage observes pinkish to lilac toning on the obverse.

Heritage added in the Gardner offering, “Some small reeding marks below Liberty’s pole are the only mentionable signs of contact, well within the grade context of this remarkable (and remarkably well-struck) coin.” In that sale it realized $152,750.

Rare Seated Liberty dollar

Beyond dimes, an MS-61 1873-CC Seated Liberty dollar also has a Gardner provenance, and was formerly in the collection of Baltimore financier Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. It is among the rarest issues in the series from a reported mintage of 2,300 pieces, though fewer were likely struck, and nearly all survivors are found in well-worn grades.

Heritage writes, “This boldly struck, lightly toned 1873-CC Seated dollar exhibits good definition on the left (facing) claw and on Liberty’s hair. The obverse luster is moderately prooflike, and the frosty seated Liberty creates a mild cameo effect.”

When offered at the May 2015 Gardner auction it brought $105,750. At its 1997 offering as part of the Eliasberg collection it realized $39,600, then-graded About Uncirculated 58 Prooflike by Bowers and Merena Galleries.

1878-CC $5 Coronet gold

An 1878-CC Coronet gold $5 half eagle graded PCGS AU-58 comes from a mintage of 9,054 struck from a single pair of dies. Most known-survivors are weakly struck with moderate luster and since it predates the interest in Mint mark collecting, few have survived in Mint State grades. Goe suggests that only 75 to 85 examples in all grades remain. Heritage called it “an attractive borderline Uncirculated example with a remarkably sharp strike for the issue,” adding, “The well-preserved orange-yellow surfaces show a few accents of lilac and are remarkably free of serious distractions.”

PCGS has graded no Mint State examples, and an NGC-graded MS-63 piece is the finest-known.

The present piece last was offered at Heritage’s 2014 San Francisco Signature sale, realizing $47,000.

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