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1872-CC Seated Liberty Dime
The 1871-CC Seated Liberty dime is a relatively rare coin to find in any condition. It has the distinction of being one of the rare coins that combines an important place in history with a very low mintage. The poor survival rate of this coin makes it a tough coin to find in any grade.
The 1871-CC Seated Liberty dime has the distinction of being the first dime to emerge from the Carson City Mint. The Carson City Mint started producing coins in 1870 but the production of dimes did not start until the following year. One likely reason for this is that being a new facility, the Carson City Mint may have been testing and as such minted few coins to begin with.
Carson City was also located only a few miles from one of the largest silver deposits in the history of our world. It would have been natural to favor the upper denominations of coins at first. This was the case at the San Francisco Mint back in 1854, but the coins minted there were gold.
The San Francisco Mint made solid numbers of big gold coins like eagles and double eagles while the mintage of lower gold denominations were small in some cases. The 1871-CC Seated Liberty dime was a year late and a large number short in its mintage numbers, as only 20,100 pieces were struck. One reasons that if these dimes had been minted at the Philadelphia Mint, this dime might be a bit easier to find suitable survivors.
However the 1871-CC Seated Liberty dime was not snapped up by collectors. At the time, there were very few collectors who collected coins by date and mint. The bulk of collecting was by date. The coins from the Philadelphia and the San Francisco Mints were struck in greater numbers.
Over time many of the 1871-CC Seated Liberty dimes disappeared from circulation. Most of these coins were likely melted down before any collectors took a serious interest in this coin. In 1873 the dime was slightly increased in size. this change spurred some melting issues in 1873 right in the heart of silver country.
This is where the 1871-CC was more likely circulating. People probably turned in their old and small dimes for the newer dimes that contained more silver in them. What has survived is generally in lower grades. Very few Mint State examples have been found.
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