As you know, here at Southgate Coins we are very partial to Carson City coinage and its history. Rusty wrote two books on the subject, founded the Carson City Coin Collector’s Club of America, and we consistently strive to publish an award-winning quarterly journal, affectionately named Curry’s Chronicle after Abe Curry, the first superintendent of the Carson City Mint. I now have a chance to add my “two cents” into the magical world of Carson City. Read on to learn more....
Since I began working here, I’ve been immersed in coins, their histories, and the entire lingo that goes along with them. I’ve typed countless descriptions of coins that are posted on our website, and I’ve met many prestigious members of the coin community. Through it all, I’ve sat quietly in the background, secretly wanting to join in the fun of being a coin collector, especially the “CC” variety. Recently, one of our very special C4OAers, Michael Parrott, even fun-lovingly scolded me saying, “You work here, and you don’t own a ‘CC’ coin?!?” All I could do was say that I didn’t. Every time someone asked me why I didn’t have a “CC” coin, I blamed it on “my college budget,” which is a factor, but the truth is I was patiently waiting for the perfect “CC” to be my inaugural coin. It had to have eye appeal, its price had to be in my low-budget (read, meager) price range, and I preferred it to be graded. Lo and behold, about a month ago, I saw this magnificently toned 1883-CC Morgan silver dollar, graded PCGS MS-63 walk right into our store. I instantly fell for it, and I even showed it to Rusty, Marie, Crystal and Emma, declaring it was going to be my first “CC.” Well, I was right.
Just last week, I bought the little gem, part cash, and part debit card. Marie had expected me to make lay-away payments on it, but I’m sure I surprised her when I said, “No, I want to take it home today!”
I did in fact take it home, studied it closely with my little loupe, and brought it back so Rusty could take some pictures. (I tried to take pictures, too, but quickly realized that it’s more of an art than you would imagine!)
Now, in an attempt to try my hand at something Rusty does so effortlessly, here’s my description of my new “CC” Morgan dollar:For a relatively common issue, this 1883-CC Morgan dollar is certainly a very striking example. The obverse radiates with colorful toning, layered in sea-greens, cobalt blues, and crimson undertones, and is enhanced with specks of gold and silver peaking through. Because of the mixture of blue, red, and gold in the left obverse field, the coin exhibits a warm-purple glow when held in the right light. There’s a small die crack between the letters BUS in PLURIBUS, as well as a tinier one between stars 9 and 10. There are a few contact marks scattered on the obverse, most noticeably in the left field in front of Ms. Liberty’s mouth, and on her jaw line. However, none of them seriously detracts from the elegant, mesmerizing rainbow-coloring that flows over the entire obverse.Contrasting with the obverse, the coin’s reverse is stark white, with only a hint of golden toning around the periphery. There’s a very faint doubling of the lettering in the motto, as well as a carbon spot on the eagle’s cheek, giving the appearance of a little beauty mark. What’s really striking, however, is the amount of die cracks. The most prominent one extends from the T in STATES through the eagle’s wing, and ends in the C in AMERICA—nearly half way around the coin! There are two more, one stringing from the O in ONE through the star, and ending in the U in UNITED, and the other picking up where it left off, by connecting the letters NITED in UNITED.
Overall, this coin seems to be tailor-made for a color-coin collector (like me). The contact marks and die cracks only give this MS-63 specimen more character, and as far as I’m concerned, the positives clearly outweigh the negatives on this beautiful, iridescent, metallic masterpiece.
I think that for a beginner, this is a very good coin with which to start my collection. To me, all its characteristics make this coin unique, even though it is just one of the 1,204,000 pieces minted of this date. It may be common, and it may only be a 63, but it will certainly have a special place in my collection for years to come... When I build my collection, that is.
For all you novice collectors, I’m right there with you, and although we may not have much knowledge in the field, I have to say that when we follow our instincts, we’ll tend to end up with something that we’re pleased with for years to come. I know I will be.
Thanks for sharing this little beginner’s coin collecting experience with me.
No, it’s not for sale.