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Remembering the Carson City Mint

By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez - January 8, 2024

An 1876-CC Liberty Seated Quarter in G6 is obtainable as of this writing for around $100. Courtesy of PCGS TrueView. Click image to enlarge.

It was on January 8, 1870, that the Carson City Mint began operations in Nevada. Boasting one of the most romanticized legacies of all United States Mint facilities, the Carson City Mint produced gold and silver coinage for nearly a quarter century until 1893. Coins bearing the mint’s “CC” mintmark are coveted by generations of collectors, not only because of the relative rarity of so many of these coins, but also due to the narrative usually associated with these coins. They were, after all, produced during one of the most colorful times in American history, when frontierspersons were pushing the bounds of the nation’s western horizons toward the Pacific Ocean.

The catalog of Carson City coins includes such famous collectibles as the Liberty Seated Dimes through Dollars, the Morgan and Trade Dollars, and the run of Liberty Head gold coinage en vogue at the time. All are regarded by collectors today as scarce, though some issues are extraordinarily rare. Perhaps the rarest of all is the 1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated Dime, which had a reported mintage of 12,400 pieces yields just one known specimen; it most recently sold in January 2023 in a grade of PCGS MS65 for $3,600,000.

Thankfully for collectors working with smaller budgets than those ranging into seven figures, most Carson City coins – scarce as they are – don’t cost a million-plus dollars to purchase. In fact, some pieces can still be had in lower circulated grades for relatively affordable prices, such as Liberty Seated Quarters dated from 1876 through 1878 – still obtainable in G4 for less than $100 apiece.

Carson City Morgan Dollars, which are arguably one of the most popular of the CC coins, can be had for prices as low as $150 to $200 in circulated grades. Prices only go up from there for any of the CC coins, but at least collectors on a shoestring budget do have some opportunities to pick up coins from this much-storied mint for approachable money. And what’s not to like about a nicely worn Carson City coin? The history of these pieces and the mint from which they came are the stuff of numismatic legend!

Article provided by PCGS at
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