US Coins

Rare 1870-CC Coronet double eagle brought to coin shop

This 1870-CC Coronet double eagle now graded PCGS VF-30 is from an inheritance that was recently brought to a northern Ohio coin shop.

Images courtesy of PCGS

The decision to bring an inherited collection to a coin shop has changed the lives of an Ohio couple in unimaginable ways.

The unidentified couple brought a few gold $20 double eagles to Toledo Coin Exchange, where an employee checked them. Among the trio of coins was an 1870-CC Coronet double eagle, a six-figure rarity with the mintage of only 3,789 pieces.

The employee brought the coin to the attention of vice president Nick Karpinski, who sprang the good news on the unsuspecting couple.

The coin, the rarest of all $20 gold double eagles from the Carson City Mint, is estimated to have approximately 41 survivors, all circulated coins. The example brought to the Toledo Coin Exchange, located in northeastern Ohio, was recently graded by PCGS as Very Fine 30; other similarly graded examples have traded for nearly $200,000. A PCGS About Uncirculated 53 example sold for $411,250 in 2014 at Heritage Auctions.

The recently discovered example, part of the husband’s family’s estate, came from his deceased parents. “The wife suspects that during the oil boom in their small Ohio town,” Karpinski noted, “the coin may have migrated over to the area then.” Ohio’s petroleum industry dates back to the late 1850s.

“It’s a low-mintage coin, to begin with, and with less than 50 pieces known to exist, this is an exceptionally rare coin. It was exciting just to hold the coin!” said Karpinski, who purchased it. The couple planned to use the money to pay off their house, a happy ending for all.

To PCGS President Brett Charville, this story has a sweetly nostalgic connection. “I visited this shop as a kid,” recalls Charville, who was born and raised in north-central Ohio. “It was one of the first coin shops I ever visited, an hour away from where I grew up.”

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