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1870-CC Double Eagle Brings $1.62 Million In Heritage Sale

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 Posted 11/23/2021  1:14 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
1870-CC Double Eagle, AU53
Classic Western Rarity, Winter Plate Coin
Finest Certified at PCGS

1870-CC $20 AU53 PCGS. Variety 1-A. This historic rarity had a reported mintage of only 3,789 pieces, with attrition taking a heavy toll on those struck over the years. In terms of absolute rarity in the series of Liberty double eagles, the 1870-CC is surpassed only by the 1861 Paquet Reverse, the 1856-O, and the business strikes of 1882 and 1886. Doug Winter estimates that only 35-45 1870-CC twenties are known in all grades today. Three-quarters of the known survivors are no better than Fine-VF and are heavily bagmarked, making this the rarest date in the series from the standpoint of condition rarity. Only 8-10 AU coins are believed known, and no Uncirculated pieces are even rumored to exist. It is instructive to note that two of the most illustrious collections of gold coins to be sold in the 20th century, Louis Eliasberg and Harry Bass, had XF40 and XF45 coins in their respective collections. This was certainly not because they couldn't afford finer examples, as both had very deep pockets, but it is simply because high grade pieces such as this one were not available.

It is difficult to overestimate the rarity of this issue. Carson City gold is an avidly collected area of U.S. numismatics, but few serious collectors are able to own an 1870-CC in any grade. The coins that are known are owned by advanced collectors and it is often several years before a desirable example (XF or better) comes on the market. In Gold Coins of the Carson City Mint, this particular coin was tied for the number one spot on the Winter / Cutler Condition Census; however, since publication of that work in 2001 both an AU55 and an AU58 example have surfaced, and today this coin is the third finest known.

All 1870-CC double eagles are known to be softly struck. This piece is also weakly defined overall, but not any more so than other Type Two twenties, issues such as the 1869-S and 1870-S come to mind as coins that are almost never found with anything more than a mediocre strike. The surfaces have rich orange-gold coloration with faint traces of reflectivity still in evidence around the devices. As with all '70-CC twenties we have seen, this piece is liberally abraded. However, it lacks the numerous heavy marks that are often seen. In fact, the distinctive abrasions that are present can be listed and used as pedigree identifiers, which can also be seen in the plate used in the Winter / Cutler reference (page 147): an angling mark is located in the left obverse field out from Liberty's chin, a series of abrasions are clustered between and around stars 12 and 13, and on the reverse there is a long cut on the lower rim just below the NT in TWENTY. This is a very rare chance to acquire this highly-prized, key Carson City issue in upper Condition Census quality -- an opportunity that may not present itself again for many years. Population: 1 in 53, 0 finer (9/21).

See sale.
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United States
1995 Posts
 Posted 11/23/2021  1:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
From the sale:
Roster of High-Grade 1870-CC Double Eagles
1. AU58 NGC. The finest-known specimen, recently discovered, and stolen during a Brinks transport soon afterward.
So the finest known is missing. I wonder what the story is there.
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