|Stack's Bowers||Auction||The June 2013 Baltimore Auction||May-2013||1871-CC Liberty Seated Dime. Fortin-101, the only known dies. AU-55 (PCGS). An appealing mixture of deep sea-green, rose, gold, and dark-olive patina covers each side of this satiny Choice AU example. The design elements are crisply struck, showing only traces of weakness on Liberty's head, the mintmark, and the wreath bow. High point wear seems minimal, appearing mostly on the wreath leaves. The mintage of 20,100 pieces was greatly diminished through time and attrition as perhaps 100-150 exist today, the vast majority of that select group found in much lower grades than seen here. Tied with two others as the third finest seen by PCGS of this date and mint, and of considerable importance as such. The date and mint has always been one of the most sought-after issues of the Liberty Seated dime series, and finding a coin with this degree of eye appeal and technical grade is virtually impossible today. Dozens of specialists seek such an example, but only one will come away with this condition rarity when the hammer falls.
Reviewing past offerings confirms that many of the examples known of this date and mint have significant surface problems. Perhaps some of these were recovered from the ground after being buried for years, as corrosion is often a factor as well as surface damage. Obviously the present coin was not subject to this type of condition, as its surfaces are glorious in their preservation--in stark contrast to others of this issue. Strike can be a problem as well, but again this is not a problem with the present example as it shows just a hint of softness. Struck during the second year of the Carson City mint's brief era of coinage production, and a solid representative of this date and mint. In fact, 1871 was the first year dimes were struck at this particular Mint as their initial focus had been on other denominations. This imperial example is destined to be a highlight of an advanced collection and represents one of the finest examples of this