Coin Specifications

Category: Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
Mint: Carson City
Mintage: 350,000
Catalog: KM-110
Obverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Reverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $14.49 (8/27/2016)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
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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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/12/2016

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

1889 CC S$1 MS
Base $ 575 685 1075 1400 3400 7700 9250 12750 23000 27500 34000 41500 53000 125000 340000 - 650000 1200000 - -
$ - - 9750 14000 25000 - - - 65000 - - - - -
1889 CC S$1 MS Prooflike
Base $ - - - - - - - 15000 24500 28500 37000 44500 62000 132500 390000 - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 46500 - - - - - -
1889 CC S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 33000 38500 48000 72500 140000 - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 4812
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 40
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/23/1998 PCGS VG 10   Teletrade Auction 1089, 1089/Lot# 1778 $228.90
2/20/2005 PCGS MS 61   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1963 $19,550.00
10/19/2008 PCGS XF 40   Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Coin Auction #68104, 68104/Lot# 64353 $2,075.00
12/4/2008 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2008 December Houston, TX Signature Coin Auction #1118, 1118/Lot# 2981 $24,075.00
12/8/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Bonhams Coins and Banknotes, 18404/Lot# 2244 $8,775.00
8/11/2011 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(5), 1158/Lot# 7320 $14,950.00
7/10/2012 NCS VF 20   Stack's Bowers The August 2012 Philadelphia ANA World's Fair of Money Auction - US and World Lots - Internet Only Sessions, 174/Lot# 13315 $740.25
7/21/2013 PCGS AU 55   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/21/2013, 84/Lot# 126763 $10,870.20
9/15/2013 PCGS AU 53   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 769, 778/Lot# 140 $7,500.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1889 CC S$1 MS
1889 CC S$1 MS Prooflike
1889 CC S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63 DPL
Points: 9821
Owner: Stiel Coin Collection
Grade: MS 63
Points: 9379
Owner: Mikey H
View the Registry Image Gallery

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