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.
All Carson City quarters are rare and all qualify for either key or semi-key status. The legendary rarity in this group is the 1873-CC No Arrows, an issue that had a mintage of only 4,000 but almost all were melted. All the Carson City issues also had low mintages--the series high was 12,464 pieces for the 1873-CC Arrows. Naturally, when any of these are offered for sale at public auction they are highlight coins. Only 10,890 examples were struck of the 1871-CC quarter, an increase of only $637.50 over the production level from 1870. In his book The Mint on Carson Street, Rusty Goe discusses the total value of 1871-CC quarters, that is, $2,722.50. He then proposes an intriguing theory regarding the odd amount of $22.50 that is tacked onto the mintage.
'The odd amount of $22.50 face value, or 90 individual quarters was included in the first delivery total for 1871, probably representing the amount divided between assay coins, and those distributed to key residents in the area. Readers will also remember that in 1870 a somewhat extraneous total of 40 quarters was minted at Carson City for similar purposes. Today's depleted populations of 1871-CC quarters imply that no more than 90 pieces ever escaped from storage vaults at the Carson Mint.'
This theory only lacks documentary evidence to support it, as the numbers known today of this issue already indicate that this is most likely what happened. Only 41 pieces have been certified in all grades by both NGC and PCGS, minus an uncertain number of resubmissions. This would indicate that fewer than 50% of the pieces released survive today, a percentage that is consistent with proofs from the late 19th century.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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