1882-CC $20 Liberty Type 3 PCGS XF45
1882-CC $20 Liberty Type 3 PCGS XF45. We really go out of our way to acquire coins that look like this but the problem is the come around all too infrequently. This one seems to have acquired at look that comes with being on a wooden surface for years and years, perhaps forgotten in a drawer for decades.
Rusty Goe put it quite well: Coiner Levi Dague’s department at the Carson City Mint had not emitted a double eagle since sometime in late summer or early fall of 1879. The Philadelphia and San Francisco facilities had produced double eagles between then and the end of 1881, albeit in smaller quantities than usual. The Treasury Department, under Secretary John Sherman, had initiated a policy, beginning in late 1879 and carrying through for several years, whereby it would expand the production of gold denominations smaller than twenty dollars. This in turn led to a reduction in the emission of double eagles. The Carson Mint’s output of the large gold coins had diminished so much by the time the Treasury had implemented its new policy that it would not have mattered what course the Department had chosen to take. Steadily declining bullion deposits had reduced the Carson branch’s turnout of gold coins, especially the double eagles; the Treasury’s policy only served to put a lid on production. The Carson City Mint struck 3,000 double eagles in January, the first examples of that denomination that had come from Dague’s department in over 26 months. By the end of April 12,600 double eagles had been produced, more than the annual total back in 1879. Of those first runs in 1882, the chief cashier had said that 3,565 double eagles remained in the mint’s vault at the beginning of May. Coiner Dague added 5,571 more between May and June and then paused for annual cleanup time. In the second half of the year, the pace picked up slightly, and by the end of December, another 20,969 $20 gold pieces were delivered. This brought the total for 1882 to 39,140; but more important, thanks to the added boost provided by an unprecedented production of half eagles, the face value of gold coinage minted in Carson City almost quadrupled from 1881’s figure. The overall quality of the double eagles, which had improved significantly in 1877, continued to do so in 1882. We can see this on the examples that survive today (save for the typically bagmarked surfaces of course). Presently, the survival rate stands at about four percent of the original mintage.