US Coins

Market Analysis: Carson City Mint gold always a hit

This AU-55 1877-CC Coronet gold half eagle is nicer than most examples of the extremely scarce date. It sold for $16,800 at Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries

Collectors love coins from the Carson City Mint as they capture the allure of the Old West. This 1877-CC Coronet $5 gold half eagle in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Dec. 18 auction, graded About Uncirculated 55 by Professional Coin Grading Service, sold for $16,800.

Like many “CC” issues of the era, it has a very low mintage. Just 8,680 were struck and of these, perhaps 125 exist today, with the majority found in well-circulated grades. Many have suffered indignities like improper cleaning, polishing or damage.

Writing in 1988, gold specialist David Akers was unaware of any Mint State survivors, but PCGS has since graded one each in MS-62, MS-61 and MS-60, with a handful of AU-58 examples that are among the finest-known.

Choice, lightly circulated survivors are a prize. The Stack’s Bowers offering was described as distinguished, with the cataloger, observing, “Beautiful in every regard, this coin is richly toned in a blend of vivid pinkish-rose and orange-gold shades. Plenty of soft satin luster remains, the fields modestly semi-reflective when viewed with the aid of direct lighting. There is outstanding crisp detail throughout the design with little evidence of softness to the strike.”

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