1872-CC Gold Eagles PCGS AU-58 CAC
1872-CC Gold Eagles PCGS AU-58 CAC
Ex: Battle Born
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*Some sources say 4,600
This date is one of the rarest in the Carson City eagle series. In all grades the population is no more than about 75 to 90 pieces, and this includes all the damaged specimens. No Mint State specimen has ever surfaced. PCGS lists four AU-58 specimens and NGC's census shows one at this level. The NGC AU-58 submission event probably does not represent a coin still remaining in NGC plastic, as the only piece that could be connected to it has crossed over to PCGS. Of the four AU-58 specimens currently encased in PCGS slabs only two are recognized as genuinely worthy of that lofty grade. One is pedigreed to three notable collections: Warren Miller, Henry S. Lang, and Tennessee. The other one, which is the one offered here, held proud places in the Harry W. Bass Jr. and Battle Born collections. The other two examples certified as AU-58 by PCGS don't even compare with the quality and eye appeal of the two finest specimens. The two inferior AU-58 pieces lack originality and display heavy bagmarks and other distractions (although any 1872-CC eagle deserves special honor, especially if it is in a grade above Extra Fine).
The PCGS AU-58 specimen described here, with its green CAC seal of approval, makes a bold claim for the title of finest known surviving 1872-CC eagle. It comes more near to Mint State in condition than any other specimen of this date-denomination. Its obverse's warm gold-orange color is absolutely original and is fully accentuated by the vibrant luster that radiates from its field of view. The scattered small contact marks and tiny scratches on the obverse will not raise a protest from anyone who beholds this magnificent specimen. A slight (very slight) loss of metal on the uppermost part of Lady Liberty's cheek is the only sign that this piece might have served time (briefly) in circulation at one time, possibly as it rested on the shelf of a bank vault somewhere. The obverse's raised devices are as well defined as one will ever find on an 1872-CC eagle, with every strand in Liberty's hair fully visible.
This coin's reverse is a marvel to behold. It is unquestionably Mint State in nature, perhaps deserving of an MS-62 or MS-63 rating. The reverse's appearance is the closest one will ever come to seeing what an 1872-CC eagle looked like when it first shot out of the coin press at the Carson City Mint nearly 150 years ago. The vibrancy of the reverse's luster and the tantalizing glow of the golden-apricot surface is mesmerizing. Collectors expect such splendor on common date $10 Liberty Head gold pieces from the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints, and, yes, even the Carson City Mint. Yet it is unheard of on examples from the Carson City Mint's production of gold eagles from its first four years in operation. And as suggested by the aforementioned estimate of the grade of this coin's reverse, contact marks (of any kind) are barely noticeable.
With the prevalence in today's rare coin market of third-party certification and approval services adding a bit extra to the grades of coins to distinguish them from others in their classes, it would come as no surprise (and in fact be oh so warranted) if PCGS would further bless this specimen with a + (Plus) to supplement its AU-58 rating.
Any collector whose goal is to build the finest set of Carson City gold eagles must have this specimen. If it and the ex: Miller/Lang/Tennessee coin were matched up in head-to-head competition, the voting might be close but the judges would certainly award this ex: Bass/Battle Born specimen with the finest-known medal.