Gold coinage production at the Carson City Mint failed to meet expectations in 1873. Gold deposits that year from the nearby Comstock Lode, valued at more than $5 million, were more than twice those of 1870.(1) Yet, the face value of Carson gold coined in 1873 totaled only $530,710. It wasn’t until the following year, 1874, that gold coinage spiked accordingly.(2)
Nearly all the 1873-CC Coronet $20 double eagles entered circulation immediately, in support of the hard money economy of the western United States. They served their purpose splendidly, but attrition over a period of many years took a heavy toll on their population. Of the 22,410 struck, the 1873-CC double eagle survivors are estimated to number 405.(3)
The lack of enthusiasm in collecting the 1873-CC certainly contributed to its losses. Few numismatists were attuned to the concept of mintmark collecting when in 1893 Augustus Heaton finally sparked an interest in branch mint issues with his published work.(4)
President Franklin Roosevelt’s Gold Recall order of 1933 left the American public with few options for owning gold. Savvy investors realized buying collectible gold coins was one effective strategy to legally possess gold. Particularly rare, branch mint double eagles, such as the 1873-CC, now glittered brightly in the eyes of desiring buyers.
By that time, of course, it became obvious just how few of them existed. There was simply not enough of a supply to meet demand. Prices have moved higher ever since, with few respites.
|Estimated survivors in all grades: 405
? 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: 6.1
? 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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