Variety 101

 Obverse 1: Low Date, Slight Upward Slope, Partial S

Reverse A: Small CC, [mm Lt,L]


Obverse 1                                                Reverse A


Obverse Diagnostic Point(s)                     Reverse Diagnostic Point(s)


Comments: 1871 Carson City dimes do not show a die crack through the mintmark since the reverse die is in an early die state. Reverse A will be used again to strike 1872 through 1874 Carson City dimes. A progressive die crack through the mintmark will appear later on some 1872-CC examples and on all 1873 and 1874 Carson City examples. Most 1871-CC dimes are found with soft obverse features as seen on the plate coin and the Battle Born PCGS MS63 example below.

The Stack's Lemus Seated Dime collection (October 18, 2005) contained an 1871-CC dime (Lot 654) that was graded About Uncirculated but exhibited a bold strike. The Carson City mintmark on this coin showed a faint triangular shaped artifact in the second C of the mintmark that does line up with the location of subsequent cracking during later usage. The sharp details and bright fields of the Lemus 1871-CC dime made the artifact visible. Barry Kutner is credited with identifying this reverse artifact on the Lemus example via careful inspection of the Stack's website plate coin photographs. Is this artifact an early stage of the subsequent die crack? I believe that a final determination cannot be made until another example is located with the artifact and closer inspection occurs with a stereo microscope.

The majority of 1871 Carson City dimes will be seen with surface porosity and corresponding problems resulting from attempts to minimize the appearance of surface porosity. Many 1871-CC dimes will be found net graded by the ANACS grading service. Take care in locating truly original 1871 through 1874 Carson City dimes in either uncertified or certified condition. I have seen several higher grade EF and AU Carson City dimes in professional grading service holders that were not original, rather having been artificially toned to improve the attractiveness of the coin. When a collector does locate an original and problem free 1871 through 1874 Carson dime, be prepared to pay a strong premium to acquire that example.

Plate Coin: G. Fortin Collection, PCGS EF45 CAC Green - Ex. Cook Collection

The Stack's Bowers Battle Born Collection auction (August 9, 2012) featured an uncirculated 1871-CC dime which brought final bid of $85,000 without buyer's premium. Below are the Stack's Bowers website images and provenance description.

1871-CC PCGS MS63 - Battle Born Collection

Stack's Bowers Lot 11102 - August 2012 ANA Sale


Stack's Bowers provenance statement; From the Battle Born Collection. Earlier ex: Possibly Harold M. Budd, Sr.; Numismatic Gallery (Abe Kosoff and Abner Kreisberg); Ben Stack (Imperial Coin Company); Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb, acquired July 29, 1954; our (Bowers and Merena's) sale of the Norweb Collection, Part I, October 1987, lot 529; Waldo E. "Pat" Bolen, Jr.; the Numisma 95 sale (David W. Akers, RARCOA, Stack's) of the Waldo E. Bolen Collection of U.S. Dimes, November 1995, lot 2134; and our (American Numismatic Rarities') Kennywood Collection sale, January 2005, lot 373; Rusty Goe, January 2005.

On August 9, 2012, then Stack's Bowers Rarity Sale featured the following 1971-CC NGC MS62 dime which hammered at bid price of $46,000.

1871-CC NGC MS62

Stack's Bowers Lot 11318 - August 2012 ANA Sale


Stack's Bowers provides no provenance statement for the above NGC62 dime.



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