Coin Specifications

Category: Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
Mint: Carson City
Mintage: 350,000
Catalog: KM-110
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $12.86 (11/26/2014)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1889 CC S$1 MS obverse 1889 CC S$1 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Carson City struck their first silver dollars in 1870, the first year of coinage operations. They continued to strike Seated dollars through 1873, and Trade dollars until 1878, in addition to subordinate silver denominations and gold half eagles, eagles, and double eagles. Beginning in 1878, all of the mints, including Carson City, were primarily occupied with the production of silver dollars as a result of the Bland-Allison Act. Gold coins were also in production at the various mints. Coinage of silver dollars continued at Carson City into 1885, when operations of that mint were suspended. The cessation of operations was due to the extreme expense of coinage in comparison to the benefits. According to the mint director, costs were as high as 18% of the value of local deposits in 1885. At the time, Carson City was hardly a large city, with a population of only about 4,000 people, and overall population in the state was declining.

The Mint at Carson City opened again in the third quarter of 1889, with preliminary steps taken to prepare the facility for coinage. Rusty Goe writes in The Mint on Carson Street: "Carson City Mint employees were eager to get back to work in July of 1889. Four years of dormancy had left the facility in a state of disrepair, but clean-up crews removed the cobwebs, aired out the rooms, and dusted off the machinery in preparation for a resurrection of coinage operations."

As preparations were underway in Carson City, changes were being made in Philadelphia. Edward O. Leech took over reign of the Mint as its director in Philadelphia, a position that he held during these last years of Carson City production, stepping down in 1893. Leach was born in Washington, D.C., in 1850, and graduated from Columbia University and the National Law University. He served in the Bureau of Statistics at the Treasury Department before being transferred to the Mint Bureau. His resignation from the Mint gave him the opportunity to accept a position as vice president of the National Union Bank in New York City. Leech died in 1900.

The 1889-CC Morgan dollar was one of the lower mintage issues of the entire series, with just 350,000 coins produced. All of them were struck during the last three months of the year, with monthly production of 100,000 coins in October and November, and 150,000 coins in December. Many other less famous dates had lower mintages, but Goe explains that the many 1889-CC silver dollars met an early demise: "For unknown reasons, approximately 250,000 to 325,000 1889-CC silver dollars were eventually melted, securing this date as one of the keys to a set of Morgan dollars."

Like several other dates, this is an extremely rare issue in Gem quality. Most of those that avoided the melting pot were placed in circulation, and today the typical example grades just VF or lower, often with damage.

There seems to be a little confusion regarding the appearance of these coins. Wayne Miller, in 1982, stated "the typical 1889-CC is well struck, with average bagmarks." A decade later, Dave Bowers essentially said the same thing: "Nearly all 1889-CC dollars are well struck with excellent definition of details." However, another decade passed, and the Red Book of Morgan Dollars contained the following: "Usually an average strike at best, often below average." This Eliasberg specimen can only be considered well-struck.

The only quantity of Mint State examples is reported to be three bags, one owned by Harry Warner, and the other two owned by Ben Stack. There were also reports of a couple of bags located in Montana during the 1950s or early 1960s. Other than these, there have been no quantities of 1889-CC Morgan dollars released. The Treasury had none when their hoards of dollars were distributed in the early 1960s. Apparently, they actually retained one solitary coin, which later was part of the GSA sales of CC dollars in the 1970s.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/11/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1889 CC S$1 MS
1889 CC S$1 MS Prooflike
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - 15000 22750 26500 30000 37000 49000 85000 375000 - - - - -
$ - - - 17500 24000 28500 33000 41000 54000 110000 - - - -
1889 CC S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 31000 34000 40000 53500 97500 - - - - - -
$ - - - - - 35000 37500 45000 68000 140000 - - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 4366
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 40
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
8/18/1999 PCGS G 6   Teletrade Auction 1200, 1200/Lot# 1793 $196.20
1/25/2004 NGC MS 64   Goldberg January 25-28, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 23/Lot# 2741 $39,100.00
9/22/2010 PCGS F 15   Heritage Auctions 2010 September Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1144, 1144/Lot# 10552 $805.00
12/8/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Bonhams Coins and Banknotes, 18404/Lot# 2244 $8,775.00
8/11/2011 NGC G 4   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(7), 1158/Lot# 11251 $402.50
2/28/2012 NGC AU 50   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 8322 $3,162.50
2/22/2013 PCGS XF 45   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 3161 $3,818.75
4/7/2013 PCGS Genuine G   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/07/2013, 69/Lot# 108887 $478.50
9/15/2013 PCGS AU 53   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 769, 778/Lot# 140 $7,500.00
6/27/2014 PCGS   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 2185 $1,645.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1889 CC S$1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base11661193136916832009312638174389461750146616734679428472937911047180302086421749252293706953637
1175125214741792238133564008446547495548685975458119877499351337518975211592290929176425920
000000400844654749554868597545811987749935133751897521159229092917600
0000004198454148826082710377438295907710491157021991921454240693312200
1889 CC S$1 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base123912711444177621173103381744314694515870147597796086019547115291850621443201532746586472134561
125013291555189024463341402245194849577772087718817489161020813855194852144322590471341025020
0000004022451948495777720877188174891610208138551948521443225904713400
0000004226460650036395740378398387923210868161802046421443250286680300
1889 CC S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1333136315521907226833034048466948885505707780588338884998211207519276222462746536576109094134561
134314261670202726133551425547425094602974048151850891731057214475202662398630502607491175830
0000004255474250946029740481518508917310572144752026623986305026074900
0000004462481552996553773182458679949711324168762125625725335398492100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 61 DPL
Points: 8338
Owner: Dr. B K
 
Grade: MS 61
Points: 7942
Owner: Morgan Dollar Dale
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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