The Wild West. It’s a term that instantly invokes visions of cowboys and outlaws. A land of unforgiving deserts, never-ending horizons and quite literally, “fields of gold.”
While the port town of San Francisco was bustling from the riches found in the California Gold Fields, Nevada held a new dream for bewildered travelers looking into the mirage of the desert for a better life.
The Comstock Lode. In 1859 an immense trove of silver ore was discovered on the eastern slope of Mount Davidson in the “Western Utah Territory,” today near Carson City, Nevada. Shortly thereafter, prospectors struck GOLD.
The immense population boom over the next decade led to the creation of the Carson City Mint. Although some dies of the Carson City Mint were ready to go in December of 1869, none were actually used to strike a coin until 1870.
As a First Year of Issue, any 1870-CC coin of any denomination is a prize. A Silver Dollar, while still highly desirable, can be found without much effort. A Quarter becomes quite the challenge, but a $5, $10 or $20 becomes a serious stumbling block in the completion of any prestigious collection.
The Half Eagle was really the Workhorse of the Wild West. It would have been a viable and highly commercial denomination to conduct business with. One can instantly dream up images of pioneers spending the coin in a local store to stock up on what he needed for his journeys. Or a couple of cocky cowboys perhaps using the coin in a poker game at the local saloon while enjoying a few beers. The stories an 1870-CC $5 can tell are immense.
With only 7,675 Minted it was born rare. Collectors from all over the World desire it, and with less than 75 known to exist in all grades few can possibly claim it.