NumisMedia Market Report: Carson City Gold Still Attracting Collectors

Posted on 7/14/2010

With the summer coin season upon us, it appears that bullion coins will lead the way for the next couple of months.

Bullion sales are supporting the overall coin market as dealers report that more than 50 percent of their sales comprise modern bullion coins and related items. Keep in mind that some dealers do not participate in the bullion market and think business is still good. Of course, most of them deal in high-quality collector coins or high-end rarities, and the collectors unaffected by the weak economy have plenty of money to spend on coins that only come along occasionally. Even though gold has been swinging back and forth the last couple of months, it has managed to break two highs in the last two weeks. Many analysts feel that the $1,260 mark was an important breakout and the next stage is $1,275. Keep a close watch on the metals when buying into this market.

Recent coin shows were much better than expected. Long Beach began the month with bullion very strong. Activity at this show was enthusiastic throughout but the lack of several major dealers seemed to curtail some of the typical wholesale business. It appeared that most of the visitors were interested in bullion-related coins and that Gold Eagles, 2009 UHR and Proof Gold Buffalo coins topped their lists. The Heritage Signature Sale provided dealers and collectors with many opportunities to acquire specific rarities, with nearly $10 million in prices realized. The following is a short list of highlights from this sale. For a complete list of prices realized, please contact Heritage at

Denomination    Grade    Price Realized   
1856 Flying Eagle Cent NGC PR 64 $15,525
1914-D Lincoln Cent NGC MS 66 Red $27,600
1955/55 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS 65 Red $32,200
1910 Lincoln Cent NGC PR 67 Red $17,250
1917-S Buffalo Nickel NGC MS 67 $40,250
1916-D Mercury Dime PCGS MS 65 FB $48,875
1866 Seated Dollar W/Motto NGC PR 67*Cameo $69,000
1891-O Morgan Dollar PCGS MS 65 DMPL $57,500
1892-O Morgan Dollar PCGS MS 65 DMPL $57,500
1859 $3 Gold NGC PR 65 Ultra Cameo $49,450
1796 $10 Gold NGC AU 53 $57,500
1883 $10 Gold NGC PR 65 Ultra Cameo $48,888
1927-S $20 Saint PCGS MS 63 $41,688

Dealers heavily attended the Whitman Baltimore Show, but public attendance was not as robust as expected. Wholesale trading began with intensity but quickly tired, and a lack of new material kept most dealers anchored at their tables waiting for something to happen. Retail dealers reported some business, but most felt the show was quite typical for the summer. Stack’s hosted the official auction with prices realized of over $2.5 million. Listed below are some of the more important highlights of this sale. For complete prices realized, please contact Stack’s at

Denomination    Grade    Price Realized   
1872 Two Cent PCGS MS 61 BN $3,450
1937-D 3 Leg Buffalo Nickel NGC MS 64 $6,325
1916-D Mercury Dime PCGS MS 66 FB $74,750
1926-D Mercury Dime PCGS MS 67 FB $27,600
1806 Bust Quarter NGC MS 63 $11,500
1814/3 Bust Half Dollar NGC MS 66 $48,875
1921-D Walking Lib Half NGC MS 63 $12,650
1851-D $1 Gold NGC MS 63 $10,925
1854-D $1 Gold PCGS MS 62 $13,225
1805 $5 Gold NGC MS 62 $15,525

At the beginning of 2005, Carson City Twenties were not on many collectors’ radar. Occasionally, they showed up in major auctions and usually saw active bidding but not much competition. Nowadays, you will find several of them in most sales, and the competition is often quite fierce. The five most common dates — 1874 CC, 1875 CC, 1876 CC, 1884 CC and 1890 CC — may have the highest original mintages, but the 1874 CC is typically offered only in grades below Mint State. The others may appear in MS 60 or MS 61, but not very often. The following chart shows the FMV of some of the better date Carson City Twenties in January 2005 against the current FMV.

Date & Grade    Jan 2005 FMV    July 2010 FMV   
1870 CC AU 50 $215,630 $412,500
1871 CC AU 50 $19,380 $31,880
1872 CC AU 50 $4,800 $9,530
1873 CC AU 50 $5,090 $10,590
1877 CC AU 55 $3,250 $6,830
1878 CC AU 55 $9,060 $14,110
1879 CC AU 55 $9,380 $19,830
1885 CC AU 55 $6,560 $10,600
1891 CC AU 55 $10,630 $16,710
1893 CC AU 55 $2,030 $4,450

As you can see from this chart, the FMV has jumped considerably in the last five years. Most of the other grades will show comparable results as well. Carson City Twenties are not only rare, but they have a very strong following and when they are available, there is aggressive competition. In addition, if they have extra eye appeal for the grade, they will attract spirited bidding.

This article is a guest article written by:

The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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