While the historic 1873-CC Trade dollar is an historic coin, it could also be considered a sleeper in MS-65. If you love history and especially the history of the Carson City Mint, you won’t be disappointed with the 1873-CC. The Trade dollar was approved in early 1873 and at the time the Carson City facility was relatively new. It was starting to get some notice due to the low mintages from it.
In the case of silver dollars, the total mintages for Carson city since the first examples had been produced in 1870 had been around 20,000 for the four dates combined. Because of the Comstock Lode, the low mintages were not due to a lack of silver. The main issue was that the silver mine owners did not want to take their silver to the Carson City Mint because of the superintendent in charge of the facility. The superintendent’s name was Abe Curry.
For a brief time Mr. Curry was in charge of Carson City and while he did have some friends there, he apparently created a lot more enemies. Even when he had left Carson City for good, the silver mine owners who had boycotted Carson City to begin with continued sending their silver to San Francisco. The result was that Carson City would have lower than expected mintages, but was less apparent with its first Trade dollar mintage.
The 1873-CC total was 12,500 and that was far larger than any previous dollar total at the facility. The 1873-CC was the first year of the Trade dollar and was not meant to be used at the corner store. The idea behind the Trade dollar was that with its slightly heavier weight, the silver dollar would be used in the ports of China to buy silks, tea, and other goods to be brought back to the United States.
It had been thought that the Trade dollars produced in the first couple of years, from Carson City and San Francisco had been shipped to China. If that happened it is likely that most of them never came back home to the U.S. The coins Trade dollars that did not return, should have had “chop” marks stamped on the coins by merchants in China indicating they had accepted the coin and that it was good.
Few other issues of the United States have had so many threats to their survival. However the 1873-CC does seem to be more or less available depending on the grade. It is possible that another MS-65 1873-CC Trade dollar may surface in the future. Given that only two others in this grade are known to exist, its value will probably be less than what it should go for.