Heritage’s upcoming December 15 Online Auction of Carson City Coinage features an interesting canceled die, one of numerous reverse dies that the Carson City Mint used to strike half dollars in the 1870s.
During this period, working dies were manufactured in Philadelphia and then shipped to the branch mints for use. The CC mintmark was entered into this die prior to shipping. After its retirement from coinage in Carson City, the die was canceled with an “X” on its face and buried on the Carson City Mint grounds with other retired dies.
In 1999, development excavations on what was the Mint grounds in the 1870s unearthed a cache of buried, canceled dies for all denominations struck at Carson City.
Although this die has significant rust and pitting from environmental exposure, elements of the design remain visible and offer evidence for when this particular die was used, and which coins it struck. The Medium CC mintmark and the Open Bud hub type narrow this die’s usage to 1875, 1876, or early 1877. The placement of the mintmark in relation to the F in HALF, the fletching tip, and the eagle’s talons, as well as the spacing of the two Cs, appears to match diagnostics for 1876-CC Reverse U in Bill Bugert’s A Register of Liberty Seated Half Dollar Varieties – although the extent of the steel’s deterioration and pitting prohibits definitive confirmation. Reverse U was employed for the WB-27, -28, and -29 die pairings of the 1876-CC half dollar.
This die measures 42 mm at its base and tapers to 30.6 mm at its face. Deep metallic-brown patina is a testament to the die’s age. An intriguing piece of Carson City Mint history. An NGC Photo Certificate accompanies this lot.
This auction will be open for bidding from November 15-December 15, exclusively at coins.HA.com.
Heritage is now accepting consignments for this auction, but the consignment deadline of November 1 will be here before you know it. To consign your CC coinage, contact Heritage at 1-800-872-6467 Ext. 1000.