The stunning Norweb specimen of an 1873-CC With Arrows dime is back in Nevada after more than 130 years.

Finest Known 1873-CC With Arrows Dime Returns to Home State

March 26, 2003

Coins from the Carson City Mint are more popular in 2003 than at anytime in the 110-year history since coinage operations ceased at the Nevada facility. One of the former branch mint's most zealous enthusiasts is Rusty Goe, owner of Southgate Coins in Reno, Nevada. Goe is so obsessed with the subject of "CC" mintmarked coinage that he has written a book entitled; An Enthusiast's Guide To A Complete Set of Carson City Coins. The manuscript is in its final stages of completion and is scheduled to be released in the fall. While doing research for the book, Goe has become more convinced than ever that the "CC" series is the most popular category of coins in all of American Numismatics. A dealer for more than 21 years, Goe has handled a wide diversity of U.S. coins. He has held the 1804 silver dollars, the Gold Stellas, the High Reliefs, and rare coins from every U. S. series, and gains pleasure from them all. But in Goe's opinion, none can hold a candle to Carson City coins when viewed in their entirety.

In March 2003, Goe purchased the Norweb/Bolen specimen 1873-CC With Arrows Seated Liberty dime. He was thrilled to welcome the celebrated piece back to its home state. The seller wishes to remain anonymous, but Southgate Coins acknowledged that the purchase price was in the six figures. The last time this piece sold publicly was in 1999 at Heritage's CSNS sale. At that time it was part of the Waldo Bolen Collection of Carson City coins from the year 1873. The price realized was $71,875. Prior to this, it had sold in 1995 at Numisma '95 where it realized $68,200. (It was part of the Bolen Dime Collection at that time.)

The following is an (unedited) excerpt from the upcoming book,




Dimes were first struck at the Carson City Mint in 1871. This denomination continued through 1878 at Carson City. There are nine dates in the set. The year 1873 features two well-known varieties, and the 1875 offers two more minor variants, thus bringing the total of coins in the Carson City dime set to eleven pieces. The first five dimes in the set are extremely rare. Since there is only one known specimen of the 1873-CC Without Arrows dime, the completion of an eleven piece set is limited to one collector at any given time. The bulk of the "CC" dime population was minted in the three years starting in 1875, and continuing through 1877. The combined total for those three years was 20,615,000, which represents 99% of all "CC" dimes produced. The 1878-CC dime is much scarcer than the mid-1870s dates. The "CC" Type Coin collector generally settles for one of the three high mintage dates.


Total Combined Mintage: 20,901,108
Total Face Value: $2,090,110.80 
Total Ounces of Silver Used: 1,506,970 ozts.+ 
Design Type: Seated Liberty (Legend Obverse)
Designers: Christian Gobrecht (Obverse)
James B. Longacre (Reverse)
Metal Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Actual GrossWeight: 2.49 grams (1871 - 1873)
Actual Fine Silver Content: .0720 ozt. (1871 - 1873)
Actual GrossWeight: 2.50 grams (1873* - 1878)
Actual Fine Silver Content: 
*(After April, 1873)
.0723 ozt. (1873* - 1878) 
Value of Silver in One Dime
(Between 1871 - 1878)
$.083 - .096


Mintage: 18,791
Estimated in All Grades
Finest Knowns:*
Estimated in Uncirculated:
NGC MS-65 (Norweb)
NGC MS-65 (Stack) 
Estimated in XF to AU:
Notable Pedigrees:
F. C. C. Boyd
James Stack
Norweb Collection
Waldo E. Bolen 
Total Certified Examples
in All Grades (PCGS and NGC):*

*As of January 2003


Minted in response to the Coinage Act of 1873 the With Arrows variety increased the silver content by a whisker. This date is the only collectable "CC" dime from 1873, and is slightly more available than the other With Arrows dime from Carson City. The term more available is used frugally, however, since the only other "CC" dime in the With Arrows variety series (1874-CC) is prohibitively scarce. The Guide Book to United States Coins doesn't list a value above the extra fine grade for the 1873-CC With Arrows dime. The survival rate for this date seems to parallel the percentages for the 1871-CC, 1872-CC, and 1874-CC dimes.

Certain numismatic researchers (Breen, as an example) have placed their survival estimates at 1% of the original mintage. In relation to current (2003) populations, it seems reasonable to lower that estimate to, perhaps one third to one half of 1%. The continuous operations of the professional grading services are approaching their twentieth anniversaries. Owners of recognized coin rarities, whether those owners are dealers, collectors, or non-collectors, have witnessed that certified coins sell for more than uncertified coins. There are exceptions of course, but, using the universally accepted conclusive evidence, sellers wishing to reap the highest return, will get their coins certified.

With the dissemination of information in these early years of the twenty-first century, at the most technologically advanced stage in history, the public is exposed to more facts, news, and trivia than it is able to assimilate. Relative to the coin market, publicity about $7.6 million $20 gold pieces, and $215,000 1943 copper cents, reaches every town and hamlet, nook and cranny in the United States. The point of all this is, that owners of rare Carson City coins (like all rare coins) would have greater awareness of what they had, and greater incentive to get their coins certified, than ever before.

You only need to turn back the hands of time to 1950, to recall that the rarity and value of the 1873-CC Without Arrows dime was unknown to 99% of the public. News of the sale of that dime caused widespread searches of attics, drawers, safes, coin albums, bank shelves, and pocket change. You must remember that this was in the days before the Internet, CNN, and the broad circulation of collector publications. The empirical evidence overwhelmingly suggests that a very large percentage of the surviving "CC" dimes from the years 1871-1874 have already surfaced. The more time that passes from the inaugural years of the grading services, will further decrease the likelihood of there being undiscovered specimens of these rare dates. With knowledge of the total population (or as near as possible), collectors and dealers will feel more confident when establishing valuations.

Using the Unique 1873-CC Without Arrows dime as an example; if the buyer is certain that only one specimen exists, the high price won’t cause as much anxiety as it would if rumors of additional specimens were being considered. The revelation that 99.8% of the 1876-CC twenty cent pieces had been melted, for instance, promptly established the date as the rarest in the "CC" series (an honor later bestowed upon the 1873-CC Without Arrows dime). A specimen of the 1876-CC twenty cent piece sold for $1500 in 1945 as part of the F.C.C. Boyd Collection (World's Greatest Collection). The Boyd Auction realized $169,806, and the 1876-CC twenty cent piece was included in the top ten highest prices from the sale. When collectors possess numerical data, they will bid accordingly.

The Norweb specimen of the 1873-CC With Arrows dime is superior to the Stack specimen. The Stack coin grades MS64 on the obverse, with an MS-65 reverse. A severe ice-pick-like scratch is well hidden on Ms. Liberty's right arm from below the elbow to her hand. There are other scattered scratches and hits located on the obverse, all of which are concealed by toning. (When beholding such a rarity it is certainly easier to be more tolerant.) The Norweb coin scores high points in eye appeal, luster, and minimal surface marks. Both coins are free of the porosity associated with many of the lower grade circulated specimens of this date.

The F.C.C. Boyd Collection also featured a lovely Uncirculated specimen of the date. The Boyd sale was held in 1945, and the Norwebs bought their 1873-CC With Arrows dime from the Numismatic Gallery in 1954. No definite connection has been made between the two coins, leaving the possibility open that the Boyd specimen has not yet been certified. The 1873-CC With Arrows dime in the R.L. Miles Sale in 1969 was listed as an XF with slightly porous surfaces. Neither PCGS nor NGC has certified an example of this date higher than VF in the circulated category as of January 2003. An interesting side note to the 1873-CC With Arrows dime story is related to the Eliasberg collection.

In an example of stark contrasts, Mr. Eliasberg's famous 1873-CC Without Arrows dime in Gem Uncirculated condition was entered with his 1873-CC With Arrows dime in VG condition. Two other significant collections of Carson City coins settled for circulated examples of this date as well. The Empire Collection sold in 1957, included a near problem-free specimen listed as being in Fine condition, and the E.A. Carson Collection sold in 1976, featured an 1873-CC With Arrows dime in the Very Fine condition rating.  All specimens of this date are the Open Three variety, and display the diagnostic die crack through the mintmark with the second "C" higher than the first.


During the past year, Rusty Goe has also purchased high grade examples of many of the other scarce "CC" silver coins including an 1871-CC quarter in MS-65, an 1873 With Arrows quarter in MS-64, an MS-63 1874-CC half dollar, and an 1878-CC Trade dollar in MS-64. He participated in an auction in New York last October hoping to obtain the finest known 1870-CC half dollar. Goe was denied in his attempt, however, being the under bidder to the relentless winning bidder who paid a record price of $161,000.

Throughout his career in the coin market, Rusty Goe has owned examples of every coin produced at the Carson City Mint except one. When asked if he will ever own the prestigious 1873-CC Without Arrows dime, Goe says, "if the time is right, I’d sure like to, it's always been one of my goals." He continues, "It would be a great honor and privilege to have my name listed in the pedigree roll for that famous coin from Nevada." The only numismatic experience that Goe believes would surpass the ownership of the 1873-CC Without Arrows dime, would be "If I could own it at the same time I owned all of the other coins in a Carson City set. Only Eliasberg managed to achieve that accomplishment."

Building a complete set of coins with the "CC" mintmark is "like climbing Mt. Everest," says Goe, "It takes lots of stamina." For now, Rusty Goe will savor the joys of owning the 1873-CC With Arrows dime. After all, "Without Arrows 'CC' coins are great," says Goe, "But With Arrows 'CC' coins aren't too shabby either." For more information about the 1873-CC With Arrows dime, the new book, or any coins from the Carson City Mint, Please call Southgate Coins at 775-322-4455. Address; 5032 S. Virginia St. Reno, Nevada 89502.