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Rare 1876-CC Liberty Head Eagle Featured in our May 2019 Baltimore Auction

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

Author: James McCartney / Thursday, May 02, 2019 / Categories: United States Coin of the Week

​The 1876-CC $10 is a significant rarity and is elusive in all grades. With appeal to both Carson City enthusiasts and Liberty Head gold specialists, demand far exceeds supply. We are thrilled to offer a pleasing AU-53 (PCGS) example in lot 1112 of our upcoming May 2019 Baltimore Auction.  With no Mint State example known, this lovely About Uncirculated example represents an important opportunity.

The three U.S. Mints producing coins in 1876 all turned out very small quantities of eagles. The Specie Payment Resumption Act of January 14, 1875, ensured a focus on subsidiary silver coin production in 1876 in anticipation of the return of such pieces to domestic circulation (which took place on a wide scale beginning on April 20, 1876). Double eagle coinage was also a priority for the United States Mint in 1876 as the nation struggled to increase its gold reserves in competition with Germany and other European nations that had adopted the gold standard early in the 1870s. All of this activity came at the expense of the lower gold denominations, as converting bullion to double eagles was most efficient. Indeed, the mintage for the 1876-CC ten amounted to just 4,696 pieces, only 100 to 200 examples of which have survived in all grades. With AUs particularly elusive and Mint State coins unknown, the present offering is sure to be of keen interest to advanced collectors.

Only a single die marriage of the 1876-CC issue has been identified. The obverse has a medium size date, slightly low in the field; the digit 6 is nearly closed with the top almost touching the loop. The CC mintmark is positioned very similar to that on the reverse of the 1875-CC, with the first C also slightly higher than the second. On the 1876-CC, however, both Cs are boldly impressed. The overall workmanship for the 1876-CC is an improvement over the 1875-CC eagle, although the centers on both issues tend to be lightly struck with a more or less blunt appearance.

We last offered an AU-53 (PCGS) example of this issue in lot 3374 of our August 2016 ANA Auction where it realized $21,150. Our record offering is held by the incredible AU-58 (PCGS) CAC example sold as part of the Battle Born Collection in August 2012 for $58,750.

The present example is sharp and the surfaces are overall glossy with yellow-gold hues, and areas of deeper sandy patina throughout. Considerable luster remains in the protected areas and testifies to the overall superior preservation. Scattered abrasions are visible in the fields though none are individually distracting, and the strike is bold for this issue. It is a truly important piece for collectors of Liberty Head gold.

This historic Carson City rarity is offered in lot 1112 of our May 2019 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Summer Expo in Baltimore. The auction is now available for viewing and bidding on our website www.stacksbowers.com, or you may contact our offices to secure a printed catalog. To speak with a numismatic representative, please call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected] Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.