Stack's Bowers - The March 2011 Baltimore Auction Lot #1629

  • PCGS
  • 30
  • CAC
  • N

1871-CC Seated Liberty Quarter. Briggs 1-A, the only known dies. VF-30 (PCGS).

Important Mid-Grade 1871-CC Seated Quarter

A leading rarity in the Seated Liberty Quarter series, the 1871-CC is the second coin of this denomination attributed to the Carson City Mint. The original mintage is a limited 10,890 pieces, and the issue suffered a grievous rate of attrition in circulation during the Frontier era. Survivors are few and far between in today's market, and they are almost always offered well worn with significant impairments to preclude third-party grading. Wear, damage and other impairments accrued to these coins faster and easier than for most other contemporary U.S. coins because the 1871-CC as an issue was struck with pure Comstock Lode silver that was not properly alloyed with 10% copper as mandated by federal law. The proper alloy would have made the coins more durable in circulation, but the process was either too time consuming or beyond the rustic capabilities of the early Carson City Mint for its employees to undertake. The use of pure Comstock silver, in fact, is a contributing factor to the awesome rarity of most CC-mint silver issues from the 1870-1873 era.     Far finer than the typical mid-grade survivor of the 1871-CC Seated Quarter, this PCGS-graded Choice VF is overall sharply defined with only light, even wear to report. The surfaces reveal no sizeable or otherwise outwardly distracting abrasions, and they are actually fairly smooth when examined with the unaided eye. Areas of dark charcoal-gray color are noted, however, with the balance of the surfaces in lighter silver-gray and copper-gray patina. An important find for the advanced collector of Seated Liberty coinage, and a coin that is sure to see spirited bidding at auction.     There is only a single die marriage known to exist for this issue. The obverse exhibits triple punching to the first digit 1 in the date, and there are also a few tiny die rust lumps (as made) in Liberty's gown to the right of the shield. The reverse is the same die used to strike the 1870-CC, 1872-CC and 1873-CC w/Arrows Seated Quarters.

PCGS#: 5479