1878-CC Coronet $20 Double Eagle

By 1874, double eagle production at the branch mint in Carson City appeared to hit a groove, churning out 115,085 of the $20 gold coins. The next two years were just as good, averaging nearly 125,000 pieces annually.(1)

Double eagle mintage dropped dramatically in 1877, down to 42,565 coins. But in 1878, the bottom fell out: only 13,180 pieces were struck of the 1878-CC double eagle.

Why the sharp reduction? In 1878, production geared up for the new Morgan silver dollar. The Bland-Allison Act mandated millions of them be minted. Accordingly, the limited resources at the Carson City Mint were consumed by silver dollar output. That meant a reduction of gold coinage.  Production of subsidiary silver coinage and trade dollars were forced to cease as well. Operations were also hampered when a renovation project shut down the Carson mint during October and November.(2)

Numismatic experts universally agree the 1878-CC Coronet $20 eagle is a rare date in all grades, ranking fourth in rarity out of the 19 Carson City double eagles.(3)

The 1878-CC double eagle has been on quite a tear for decades. As an artifact of the old American West, gold coin specialists cannot resist bidding fiercely on the infrequent occasion when an example is adorned with a “For Sale” sign.

Estimated survivors in all grades: 403
? 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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1. Yeoman, R.S. and Garrett, Jeff, et al.   A Guide Book of United States Coins, 75th ed. Pelham, AL: Whitman Publishing, 2021.

2. Stack's Bowers Galleries.  1878-CC Liberty Double Eagle.  Aug 2012 Auction.

3. Stack's Bowers Galleries.  1878-CC Liberty Head Double Eagle.  Apr 2022 Auction.

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Coin images by Stack's Bowers Galleries.