The 1892-CC Morgan dollar is a very interesting coin from a very interesting year. This was the year that saw the introduction of the new Barber dimes, quarters, and half dollars. !892 was also the year of the first commemorative in the form of the Columbian Exposition half dollar. It was also the year for the proverbial “writing on the wall” for the Carson City Mint. The Carson City Mint opened in 1870 to a world of promise.
It was hoped that this mint would be able to issue a large number of coins. After all the famous Comstock Lode was a mere 20 miles away. Unfortunately, the Carson City Mint had political problems from the start. Several miners refused to send their silver to Carson City. Instead they shipped it to San Francisco. This meant that the Carson City’s mintages were much smaller than it was anticipated to be.
By 1892 the Comstock Lode was nearly played out and Colorado silver mines were taking over its former glory. By this time the silver dollars that were Carson City’s stock in trade were not needed as badly as in past years. The 1892-CC Morgan dollar didn’t have as small of mintage numbers as had been expected. In fact its mintage stands at 1,352,000 pieces. The fact is that not many of these coins ever made it onto circulation.
The coins were not needed and most of the mintage simply sat in a vault at the mint. Around 1900, the coins were shipped to either San Francisco or Washington D.C., to sit in other vaults along with all other coins on hand from the Carson City Mint. The 1892-CC dollars could have joined other coins in Washington D.C., but evidently did not do so.
Apparently many went to the San Francisco Mint where they could have either been melted under the terms of the 1918 Pittman Act, or they were paid out to the gaming tables of Nevada. There were scattered reports of sighting of the 19892-CC starting in the 1920s and continuing into the 1950s. It was pretty rare for any of these dollars to have been in Mint State. If there were any Mint State pieces they would have had to have been from bags from the San Francisco Mint.
The dollars that were shipped to Washington D.C. somehow managed to not end up in the General Services Administration sales like other Carson City dollars from the 1880s did. Realistically, the 1892-CC can be found in grades like MS-63 and they are well struck and attractive. Of course some of the surviving specimens do feature bagmarks. Still it is a silver dollar worth looking for.