The NGC Universal ID is a four digit alphanumeric that groups coins based on a unique combination of date, mintmark, denomination and striking process (MS, PF, or SP). These IDs are a simple organization of all coins prior to variety attribution and grading.
In Gold Coins of the Carson City Mint, author Doug Winter recorded this date as the second rarest Carson City double eagle in high grade, behind only the exceedingly rare 1870-CC issue. When he compiled his auction analysis of double eagles, published in 1982, David Akers noted that this issue ranks in the top 15% of all double eagles for overall rarity and is tied with the 1866-S No Motto and 1870-CC issues for the lowest average grade within the entire series of double eagles from 1850 to 1933. 'Few dates in the series come generally worse than the 1871-CC,' according to Akers.
In 1871, the Carson City mint struck several thousand double eagles, with varying reports of the specific quantity. Author Rusty Goe, in his recent reference on the Carson City Mint, noted: 'Some references list the mintage for 1871-CC double eagles as 17,387, although official U.S. mint records have reported it as 14,687 since 1887.' Goe also discussed this particular specimen: 'Of the surviving 1871-CCs extant, few are inspiring, although there are several AU-55 and AU-58 examples which possess higher than average eye appeal, and two Uncirculated specimens in particular stand head and shoulders above the rest, especially that one that is graded by NGC as an MS-63.' All of the 1871-CC double eagles were struck from a single pair of dies. The date is well placed below the bust, with the first 1 approximately centered between the bust line and border. The final 1 in the date is nearly the same distance from the border. On the reverse, the CC mintmark is slightly left of center below the eagle's tail feathers, with the first C slightly higher than the second.
The early gold and silver coinage of the Carson City Mint entered circulation almost immediately after production. While in the East, gold and silver was still being hoarded with paper money serving the economic needs of that region, the precious metals coinage in the West circulated extensively. Others, mostly from later years of the Carson City Mint, were shipped overseas to the Orient, and probably found their way to the melting pot. Because of these influences, virtually all surviving examples of the Carson City Mint's output are well worn, or extensively abraded, or both.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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