Medium yellow gold with orange highlights, some prooflike reflectivity, and a high degree of retained luster. Some light marks are noted for accuracy, though none of them are particularly overbearing. From a modest mintage for the date of 8,085 pieces, for which we estimate a net total of just 90 to 100 or so examples known today in all grades. Like virtually all of the gold coinage from Carson City, this date was probably not struck for any reason other than circulation in the West; gold coins circulated but little, if at all, in the Mid-West and East. No matter, commerce in the West was bustling during the era, and gold coins were typically beaten up by their prolonged time in circulation, with the vast majority of the dates issued represented today by VF to EF pieces almost universally across the board. This date seemingly has a dual personality; the Winter reference notes: "This date is a bit more available than one might expect and is actually the second most common Carson City eagle from the 1870s, trailing the 1874-CC. It is a very rare coin, however, in higher grades." "Common," of course, is a relative statement, as there is nothing at all "common" about this rare date. A few Mint State examples of the date are known, which sets it apart from the 1870-CC rarity for instance, but ask anyone who has ever desired an example of the date—you just can't walk onto a bourse floor and expect to pick and choose among specimens for your collection. Indeed, if you are fortunate enough to find a specimen at a coin show (or at an auction, for that matter), there's good chance it's the only specimen offered on the bourse floor! With that in mind, act as though this is the only example of the date you are going to see for a long while, for such is probably the case. Don't be hesitant when the bidding begins or this rarity will escape your grasp in the blink of an eye.
From the William Porter Collection.