1878-CC $20 Liberty Head Double Eagle NGC XF45
Here's a great rarity in the Carson City series of Liberty Head double eagles with its mintage of only 13,180 pieces. NGC has graded 72 of this issue in XF45, with 194 finer.
The Carson City Mint, where this great rarity was produced in 1878.
One of the fascinating aspects of numismatics is understanding why certain coins are rare. Every issue has their own story. But you have to look at the evidence that is available. For example, the mintage of 1877-CC double eagles was a more substantial 42,565 examples. So why the dip from 1877 to 1878? Let's look at some convincing circumstantial evidence.
The Bland-Allison Act was passed by Congress in February of 1878. That Act compelled the government to purchase from $2 million to $4 million worth of silver every month from Western mines and produce standard silver dollars with them. At the time they were called Bland dollars but today we call them Morgan dollars after the designer-engraver George T. Morgan.
The mintage of Carson City Morgan dollars for 1878 was 2,212,000. It is quite conceivable that the officers and workers at the Mint were simply overwhelmed with the work involved in minting so many silver dollars that little time and effort was devoted to the production of double eagles. The mint in Carson City was smaller than the mints in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco, and thus did not have the capability to produce as many coins as the other mints.
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