Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 60

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Lot 3651

1870-CC Liberty Seated Half Dollar. PCGS graded VF-25. Toned on both sides. Only 54,617 minted. A scarce Carson City mint half dollar.

According to Rusty Goe in his book, The Mint on Carson Street, "on February 10, 1870 the stars seemed to be properly aligned and Carson City was ready for the first coins ever bearing the "CC" mintmark to be delivered. These 2,303 silver dollars set in motion the timeless love affair rooted in the operations at the Carson City Mint. Two months later, the half dollar became the second silver denomination struck at that legendary institution."

Goe goes on to report something that collectors may find fascinating: "While it might be true that dimes and quarters minted at Carson City from 1870 through 1873 were withheld from the public, half dollars were released into circulation, accounting in part for the steady flow of production and higher mintage totals for this denomination. As long as exchanges met the $100 minimum and were made in gold, depositors could request half dollars. As with all other related matters, the Director of the Mint in Philadelphia had the final say on coinage distribution. In the absence of detailed documents from the Carson City era, it is impossible to estimate with authoritative accuracy how many 1870-CC half dollars were actually placed into circulation." However it is well known that the diminutive survival ratio suggests that fewer than 0.3% of the 1870-CC half dollars survive from the original mintage, explains Goe! Now there is a statistic to mull over when deciding whether to bid now or wait for another example to come along.

Estimates made in 1970, one hundred years after they were produced, suggested as few as 40 pieces existed. Then in 1986 came a 90-coin hoard ranging in grade from About Good to About Uncirculated, with the bulk of the coins consisting of About Good to Very Good pieces. These have since been distributed into the market and are no doubt in strong collector hands, not likely to make a reappearance anytime soon (PCGS # 6328) .
Estimated Value $6,000 - 6,500.

Realized $7,200

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