From the Grading Room: Highest-Graded 1872-CC $20

Posted on 3/4/2010

This wholly original and beautifully struck specimen is one of the finest our graders have ever seen, and is now the highest-graded coin of the issue and the sole example at this level.

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NGC graders are fortunate to have seen more coins than anyone, but they always take time to appreciate truly special coins. The unexpected encounter with this 1872-CC $20 is one such example. Wholly original and beautifully struck, it was instantly recognizable as the finest our graders had ever seen. It graded MS 62, making it both the highest-graded coin of the issue and the sole example at this level.

Carson City Double Eagles are compelling coins. They combine their historical intrigue as coins of the pioneer West with their significant scarcity. The 1872-CC is the third $20 gold piece issue from the Carson City Mint. Since the 1870-CC is a major rarity and the 1871-CC is very elusive in all grades, the 1872-CC is, in contrast, considered to be "available" to collectors. Virtually all of the 26,900 struck likely entered circulation, and certainly fewer than 20 uncirculated examples survive.

Most 1872-CC double eagles show heavy bag marks; those that are spared heavy wear can exhibit a pleasing strike; however this example is particularly sharp and crisp. How this coin survived the rough handling that is typical of the issue is not known. After certification, NGC was informed that this example resided in a private family collection and was purchased in Europe during the 1920s only with a small group of similar era US gold coins.

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