With coinage circulating less frequently in the economically depressed era of the mid-1870s, there was a greatly decreased need for more new coins in the channels of commerce. In fact, as one looks at the mintage for the various denominations of 1875 and 1876 it is apparent that most were reduced to mere token levels. Substantial numbers of lower denominated coins were struck in 1875, but that year was a modern historic lowpoint for the minting of business strike gold pieces. Of the six denominations only the double eagle has a substantial mintage. All the others are either very rare or extremely rare. Consider the mintages for these circulating denominations: one-dollar gold: 400, quarter eagle: 400, three-dollar: none, half eagle: 200, and eagle: 100. There are only three business strikes known in mint condition.
As mentioned, only 400 business strikes were minted, second lowest in the entire series, and only trailing the 1854-S. The date was never hoarded at the time of issue, apparently being passed by unrecognized as a potential great rarity by the public at large who presumably were more preoccupied with surviving the day-to-day uncertainties of the 1870s rather than keeping up with current, low-mintage gold coins. Akers estimates that only 15 to 20 pieces are extant today in all grades and the number and frequency of pieces offered for sale in the future is likely to be very limited.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.