An 1873-CC Seated Liberty, No Arrows Mint State 65 graduated dime by Professional Coin Grading Service will join a previously announced one-of-a-kind 1870-S Seated Liberty half dime at the January 11-16 Heritage Florida United Numismatists auction 2023.
The coveted Carson City Mint issue was offered ten years ago at Stack’s Bowers Galleries on August 7, 2012, at the American Numismatic Association Philadelphia World Silver Fair from the Battle Born Collection, where it made $1.88 million. In this offering, it was described as “fully luster, the satin to lightly frosted surfaces are further adorned with delicate red-gold and powder-blue highlights in isolated peripheral areas”, cataloger Jeff Ambio praising its razor-sharp strike outstanding.
It is now offered as part of the Prestwick Collection Part II.
Heritage points out that it is rarer than better-known issues like the 1894-S Barber penny or the 1913 Liberty 5-cent coin.
Rusty Goe calls him the “King of Carson City Coins” in his recently published first volume of Carson City’s Confident Coin Collector, writing: “Something fanned the smoldering coals of discontent within the ranks of Carson City Mint employees during the transitional period in the spring of 1873 when the U.S. government replaced coins without arrows with coins without arrowheads either side of their dates.” Goe wrote that the only 1873-CC Seated Liberty, No Arrows dime is the solitary extant example of an isolated day production “in an isolated mint in a small village in a sparsely populated area of a destined state to become more famous for the game than for anything else…”
It survived a production of 12,400 1873-CC Seated Liberty, No Arrows dimes delivered on March 3, 1873, struck from the same pair of dies. The reverse diagnosis seen in the mint mark as a slightly curved diagonal line of crack starting in the field to the left of the first C, crossing the center and extending through the center of the right C before branching out to the crown at the back .
Some scholars believe that the only survivor belonged to the group of five coins sent to the Commission for Analysis, although its production was also accompanied by a turnover of personnel from the Carson City Mint at the time. The number’s first appearance was at an auction in May 1878 where it was included among the dimes, described as “old-fashioned 1873.” CC Mint. Fine Impression”, with “Old Style” distinguishing it from the new “Arrows” obverse. The term “Fine” refers to a nice overall impression, not necessarily related to the idea of a Fine 12 or Fine 15 coin with heavy wear that collectors might use today.
Last piece to finish
Perhaps the most famous previous owner is Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., who acquired this piece on November 7, 1950. The purchase completed “The Eliasberg Collection”, which is considered the most comprehensive collection in American pieces never assembled, and it sold for $550,000 at the Bowers and Merena bid in May 1996 with selections from the Eliasberg holdings. What adds to its appeal is that it is the only Carson City Mint coin of any denomination that is unique.
Goe wondered in his book if there might be another report of several false alarms in grading services that included a second example by mistake in population reports and that the coin offered was at one point Mint State graded 64 by Numismatic Guaranty Co., causing further confusion. The author also lamented that a dealer didn’t bid on it in 2012, saying the piece wasn’t “‘sexy enough’ as far as its physical appearance goes,” though Carson specialists City Mint and those who appreciate rarities might disagree.