As the second most prestigious $20 double eagle from the Carson City Mint, the 1871-CC is an excellent choice for collectors unable to obtain an example of the vaunted 1870-CC.
Coin production at the Carson City Mint was slow during its first year of operation in 1870, when it produced 92,087 coins (quarters, half dollars, dollars, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles) having a cumulative face value of $214,386.50.(1)
Boosted by an increase of more than 800% in gold deposits between 1870 and 1871, the frontier facility almost tripled its output during its second year with 232,558 coins totaling $615,523.50 in face value.
As was the standard procedure in those years, the quantity of each coin denomination struck was dependent upon the preferences of the bullion depositors, who also had the option of eschewing coins altogether in favor of receiving refined bullion bars. In 1871, about half the gold deposits were returned in bar form, otherwise the coin production would have been even higher.
Although mintages weren’t as high as they could have been, the number of double eagles struck at Carson City in 1871 was nearly 360% higher than the 1870 output. However, to paraphrase an old adage, 360% of almost nothing still isn’t very much.
There is some confusion on exactly how many 1871-CC twenties were made. Many numismatic references, including the popular Redbook, report a mintage of 17,387. On the other hand, archival sleuths have uncovered U.S. Mint documents stating the mintage was 14,687. Either way, the number struck was exceedingly small.
One thing nobody disputes is the rarity today of the 1871-CC double eagle. PCGS estimates only 215 examples remain for modern collectors to battle over.(2)
Fascinating Fact: Coin Press No. 1, the first and only coining machine during the first five years of the Carson City Mint, was capable of striking 100 coins per minute. The presses today employed at the U.S. Mint can produce 750 coins per minute. Incidentally, Coin Press No. 1 still resides in the old mint building (now called the Nevada State Museum) and is operational, stamping out souvenirs for appreciative tourists.(3)(4)
Here is another indisputable fact about the 1871-CC double eagle: the long term trendlines are utterly astonishing, ranking among the strongest in the entire Rare Coins 101 survey of United States coinage. Exactly what should be expected for a large, rare gold coin from the earliest years of the celebrated Carson City Mint.
|Estimated survivors in all grades: 215
? The survivor estimate from PCGS represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in all grades. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Learn more at PCGS.
|PCGS Rarity Scale: 6.8
? The 'PCGS CoinFacts Rarity Scale' assesses the relative rarity of all U.S. coins, based on estimated surviving examples. The scale runs from 1.0 to 10.0. The higher the number, the rarer the coin.
Learn more at PCGS.
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|Trendline Avg = 38.43||BEST|
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|Last updated 9-13-23||Return to Key Date Coin List|
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