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Collecting Carson City, CC Coinage: Part One - Small Silver Coins

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 Posted 09/23/2021  6:53 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
PCGS - I often refer to the " Red Book" to refresh my memory. A Guide Book Of United States coins, published each year, has narratives about each U.S. coin type and date with mintages and values. Both collectors and professional numismatists have used the Red Book for decades. Recently, I was looking up an 1882-CC Liberty Half Eagle and using the Red Book for comparative values for other Carson City Mint Half Eagles.

Liberty Seated dime, 1873-CC 10C No Arrows, PCGS MS65

Always curious, I couldn't help but wonder just how many coins were produced at Carson City. Despite having handled my fair share of CC coinage, I had never actually counted just how many different total coins were produced at the CC Mint. Arguably, there are 115 different total date/denomination combinations produced at Carson City.

Both silver and gold coins were produced at Carson City; there were no copper or nickel coins made there. Curiously, the number of silver and gold coins produced at Carson City are nearly equal. There are 58 total silver issues and 57 total gold issues. The Carson City Mint operated between 1870 and 1893. The silver denominations produced at Carson City included the dime, 20 cent, quarter, half dollar, and three different silver dollar issues. The gold denominations produced included $5, $10, and $20 Liberty Head gold coins.

Although I will discuss small silver CC coinage, CC silver dollars, and CC gold more in-depth separately, the basic type sets for the small silver, silver dollar, and gold issues aren't complicated. For a basic Carson City small silver type set you would need only seven different issues. These include one each of the dime, 20 cent, quarter, and half dollar with one each of the with arrows design for the dime, quarter, and half dollar. There are three different CC dollar designs, including the Liberty Seated, Trade, and Morgan dollars. For the Carson City gold type set, you would need only one each of the $5, $10, and $20 Liberty denominations.

A 13-piece CC type set is both achievable and highly sought after. Of course, any of these basic type sets can be expanded or upgraded as you desire.

I'll break down collecting CC coinage into three separate parts. Part one will discuss small silver issues. The next installments will cover the three different dollar issues, concluding with a segment surveying the three Liberty gold denominations produced at Carson City.

The Small CC Silver Denominations
Pursuing any of these small silver denominations by date individually is substantially more challenging versus collecting them by design type. All four of these date sets have at least one scarce to very rare coin. In the Stack's Bowers Galleries and Heritage Auctions events held in conjunction with the 2021 American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money, there was a large number of coins from these four CC small silver sets. In fact, Heritage Auctions sold 15 of the 31 small silver Carson City issues, while Stack's Bowers Galleries sold a dozen different small CC silver coins in their auctions.

As I dissect what you will need for each small silver series, I'll list some of the more pertinent coins recently sold. Special note must be made of the overall quality and inclusiveness of the CC Sierra Biker Collection sold in the Heritage Auctions sale. Coins in this noteworthy set enjoyed spirited bidding.

Dimes, 20 cents, quarters, and half dollars were produced at the Carson City Mint from 1870 to 1878. Because of the short duration of production there are only nine or 10 total coins in the CC dime, quarter, and half dollar sets. The 20 cent coins were only produced in Carson City in 1875 and 1876, but the 1876-CC is quite rare.

While some of the small silver CC coins are in the more affordable price range, there are some extremely rare dates that are quite expensive. Indeed, the unique 1873 No Arrows Dime last sold in a Stack's Bowers Galleries auction in 2012 for $1.84 million. While this coin is probably unattainable, the remaining nine coins in this set are no cake walk either!

Let's divulge what you need for the CC Liberty Seated dime set. Production of dimes at Carson City started in 1871 and all the dates through 1874 are challenging in all grades. The later dates are available in almost all grades. Demand for all CC dime dates in all grades is always strong. Recent transactions of Liberty Seated dimes in the Stack's Bowers Galleries and Heritage Auctions sales include an 1871-CC, PCGS VG8 that took $6,300 ( Heritage Auctions); 1874-CC Arrows, PCGS AG3 selling for $6,000 ( Stack's Bowers Galleries); and 1878-CC, PCGS MS66 fetching $10,800 ( Heritage Auctions).

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Check out Certified Carson City Coins on ebay.
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 Posted 09/23/2021  9:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Oldfordman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the read!
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 Posted 09/23/2021  10:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hokiefan_82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the interesting article. A CC type set is something I'm working on as a subset of my U.S. type set, but I've still got a ways to go...
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 Posted 09/23/2021  11:56 pm  Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I never thought of a Carson City type set! That sounds like a lot of fun.
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 Posted 09/24/2021  11:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I really enjoyed the article - thanks for sharing it with us.
Take a look at my other hobby ...
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 09/24/2021  10:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Over the last 25 years, I've gathered up random cc silver coins, but the high demand and extreme rarity of the stoppers has damped my interest in trying to complete a set of them. The only affordable set (for me) is the Morgans, but I only like the Seated coins.

"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
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 Posted 09/25/2021  09:19 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add typecollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice writeup. Since I collect mainly circulated coins, putting together that type set in vf to ef shouldn't be too hard. Unintentionally, I seem to have started at the opposite end, with the CC Trades, an 1870 dollar, a $20 and a $5.
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