- 1870-CC Double Eagle
- 1871-CC Double Eagle
- 1876-CC Twenty Cent Piece
Many collectors only dream of owning a coin with the famed “CC” mintmark, which stands for the Carson City Mint in Nevada. The western mint was operation for a mere 21 years of remarkable Wild West history. Here’s how it all began…
In 1857, Henry Comstock laid claim to what eventually became known as the giant Comstock Lode in Nevada. Many prospectors struck it rich at this lode. Word of the silver discovery spread quickly and with more people came the need for coinage. Soon, demand for a second Mint in the West was strong.
Nevada was isolated from the rest of the nation. Transporting raw metal to the San Francisco Mint was challenging and dangerous. The railroads had not yet been built into Nevada, which meant the only way to transport precious metal for processing was on horseback or a mule train.
In 1870, only six years after Nevada became a state, the historic Carson City Mint opened its door to process the huge amount of silver and gold being mined in the area. The Carson City mint primarily struck silver coins due to the large silver lode nearby. Due to the scarcity of gold coins struck at the Nevada branch mint, all Carson City gold coins are hard to find and avidly sought after by numismatics. Here’s a look at the top three rarest coins produced at the Carson City mint.
1870-CC Double Eagle
For nearly a century, the U.S. produced gold coins worth $20. These “Double Eagle” coins were minted from 1849 to 1933.
Today, the 1870 Carson City $20 gold coin is the rarest and most valuable Double Eagle in existence. The 1870-CC Double Eagle is also the most famous and highly sought after gold coin struck at the Carson City Mint. This impressive rarity is listed as one of the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins.
The 1870-CC Double Eagle boasts a miniscule mintage of only 3,789, and there are only 41 known survivors today in all grades. Simply put, there is no such thing as a common Carson City Double Eagle. Every date is considered scarce and valuable. Considering the infrequency that this extreme rarity emerges on the market for sale, it’s no wonder that this owning this coin remains only wishful thinking for most collectors.
1871-CC Double Eagle
The 1871 Carson City $20 gold coin is only the second double eagle issue from this fabled frontier era mint with a tiny mintage at 17,387. Indeed, the 1871-CC Double Eagle is widely considered to be the second rarest $20 gold coin from the Carson City Mint, after the famous 1870-CC Double Eagle. Legendary numismatic David Akers notably said the 1871 Carson City Double Eagle ranks in the top 15% of all double eagles for overall rarity.
Coins minted in Carson City typically immediately entered circulation as coinage was sorely needed to fuel the growing economy in the region. Because of this, most Carson City survivors are typically well worn and no doubt could tell many tall tales if they could talk of the rough and tumble times in the Wild West. James Barton Longacre designed this exceptional coin.
1876-CC Twenty Cent Piece
Called by some, the “Duke of Carson City coins,” the 1876-CC twenty cent piece is a highly desirable western rarity. The Carson City Mint only produced 10,000 twenty cent pieces—also known as “double dimes”— in 1876.
As the story goes, in January 1876, the Carson City Mint Cashier reported that he still had 4,261 twenty cent pieces from the previous year in his stock. That represented more than enough to cover circulation demand for some time. So, in May 1877, Mint Director Henry Linderman sent this message to the Carson City Mint.
“You are hereby authorized and directed to melt all 20-cent pieces you have on hand, and you will debit ‘Silver Profit Fund’ with any losses thereon.”
Thus, a majority of the 1876-CC twenty cent pieces were lost forever. Today survival estimates of these impressive coins in all grades is a tiny 19.
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