Obverse: Medium Level Date
Reverse: Small CC, [mm Lt,L]
Obverse 1 Reverse A
Comments: Obverse 1 displays a Closed 3 date punch with no arrows on either side of the date. Reverse A is the same die used to strike 1871-CC through 1874-CC dimes. The reverse die crack through CC mintmark is obvious on this unique dime.
The 1873-CC No Arrows dime is a unique specimen with a long history of prestige ownership and speculations as to its origin. Numismatic scholars believe that a limited amount of 1873-CC No Arrows dimes were minted for circulation (12,400 per Ahwash) but melted once the slightly heavier 1873-CC With Arrows were authorized by the Mint Act of February 12, 1873. Kam Ahwash states that, "These coins were struck on February 5, 1873, with 5 of them reserved for assay." The unique 1873 No Arrows specimen is believed to have been part of the annual Carson City assay sample for measuring compliance to weight and precious metal content requirements. These assay pieces were shipped to the Philadelphia Mint to be inspected by the Assay Commission on February 11, 1874. Assay samples not tested were either melted or placed into circulation. Bowers and Merena, in their July 8 & 9, 2004 sale of the Jim Gray's North Carolina Collection, present a potential explanation for the existence of the lone 1873-CC No Arrows dime. Their belief is that John W. Haseltine and Stephen K. Nagy acquired the solitary 1873-CC No Arrows dime when returning to the Philadelphia mint, a pair of 1877 Fifty Dollar Half Union patterns in exchange for "several crates" of coins, mostly patterns. These patterns were used by numismatic researcher Edgar H. Adams and found their way into the Woodin Collection. Ahwash states that the 1873-CC No Arrows dime was displayed at the 1914 ANS Exhibit by H.O. Granberg however Bowers and Merena indicate that Woodin was responsible for the dime’s display. During May 19-21, 1915, Wayte Raymond auctioned a portion of the Woodin collection along with that of H.O. Granberg at a sale entitled "Collection of a Prominent American." Rudolf Kohler was the successful bidder at that sale and took possession of the 1873-CC No Arrows dime in 1915. The next owner was Charles M. Williams who consigned the dime as part of the 1950 sale of the Adolphe Menjou Collection. At the Adolphe Menjou Collection sale, spirited bidding between James Kelly and Louis Eliasberg produced a sale price of $3650 with co-purchasers James Kelly and Sol Kaplan taking ownership of the legendary Seated dime. On November 7 of the same year, James Kelly sold the 1873-CC No Arrows dime to Louis Eliasberg allowing him to complete his collection of U.S. coinage. At the Bowers and Merena May 5, 1996 Louis Eliasberg sale, Waldo Bolen purchased the dime for $550,000. At the Heritage April 1999 sale, the 1873-CC No Arrows dime was again sold to an unnamed individual for $632,500. On July 9, 2004 at the Bowers and Merena Jim Gray's North Carolina Collection auction, the lone 1873-CC No Arrows specimen brought $891,250.
On August 9, 2012, the unique 1873-CC No Arrows dime once again crossed the auction block as part of the Battle Born collection. The venue was Stack's Bowers 2012 Philadelphia ANA auction. The author was present in the room during the auction. The lot opened at $1,000,000 and quickly became a bidding war between Rusty Goe and a Stack's Bowers representative for an unknown phone bidder. Both gentlemen were located in the back of the auction room. Rusty Goe bid the 1873-CC No Arrows dime to $1,500,000. The Stack's agent waved the final bid at $1,600,000 and the lot was hammered. With the 15% buyer's premium, the 1873-CC No Arrows became a $1,840,000 dime that day.
Minutes before the start of the Battle Born Collection auction, Rusty Goe was kind enough to autograph several Battle Born Collection auction catalogs for LSCC members in attendance. I was one of the fortunate and below is the catalog cover page and autograph from that memorable event!
Plate Coin: Eliasberg Specimen, Photographs Courtesy of Stack's Bowers.
Back to Date and Mintmark Table