By James McCartney – Stacks Bowers ……..
By 1885, the Carson City Mint had been striking coins for 15 years. The success of the nearby Comstock Lode prompted government officials to push for a federal mint in the area, hoping it would guarantee a steady supply of bullion, increased production figures and sustained profitability. These expectations proved to be misguided.
For a variety of reasons, it turned out that the cost of producing coins in Carson City was greater than shipping the bullion to San Francisco for coinage. Thus Treasury officials could not justify continuing to strike coins in Carson City and in 1885, production at the Carson City Mint was terminated.
However, the inauguration of Republican President Benjamin Harrison in 1889 signaled a renewed faith in this coinage facility, and minting was authorized to resume that year. Dilapidated machinery and neglected facilities delayed actual coinage production until October, allowing for only three months of productivity for that calendar year. The current beautiful rarity was a result of this limited production.
The 1889-CC ranks among the rarest and most desirable Morgan silver dollars, undeniably the scarcest of the Carson City issues and competing with only such iconic issues as the 1892-S, the 1893-S and the 1895-O. Just 350,000 examples were struck, and unlike similar low-mintage peers, they were considerably absent from the Treasury releases of the 1950s and 1960s. Just a single coin was disseminated in the GSA Hoard of the 1970s.
Even the most well preserved 1889-CC Morgans are often found heavily bagmarked and with subdued luster, though the present example pleasantly transcends both of these notions.
Lot 10158 has deep olive and teal patination accents the overall silvery surfaces. The striking quality is exceptional for the issue, rendering even the most difficult regions sharp and well delineated. The vulnerable areas are left impressively smooth for the assigned grade.
This particular Morgan rarity has been bestowed by our consignor to the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University as an endowment for scholarships in the Department of Agronomy. The consignor received this coin from an uncle in 1957 as a souvenir from a recent trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, and cherished it for nearly three decades before submitting it to the American Numismatic Association Certification Service (ANACS) for authentication and grading. The original “photocert” certificate from this submission is included in the lot. Subsequently, the coin was once again returned to ANACS to be encapsulated in their more compact, hard plastic holder. It currently resides in that popular vintage holder, safely preserved for future collectors and generations to come!
This example is sure to delight and satisfy enthusiasts of the Morgan silver dollar series. .
To view this specimen, along with the rest of the 2015 Chicago ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction, visit StacksBowers.com or call 800-458-4646 to order a copy of the catalog.