1873-CC No Arrows Dime Sets Record Price in US Coins Auction

August 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A record price for the most expensive dime ever sold at auction was recently established at the American Numismatic Association 2012 Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money. Setting the record at $1.84 million was the 1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated dime certified by PCGS as MS-65.

1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated dime

This 1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated dime sold for a record price of $1.84 million

The single coin was one of many put up for sale during the several day auction held by Stack’s Bowers Galleries. It was sold during Rarities Night on August 9 along with other coins featured from the Battle Born Collection of Carson City coinage.

The Battle Born Collection was one of only two recognized to have ever contained examples of all 111 different coins struck at the Carson City Mint. The Carson City facility was operated as a branch facility of the United States Mint from 1870-1893 in Carson City, Nevada.

Making the 1873-CC No Arrows dime intriguing and desirable is the fact that it is the only known surviving example of 12,400 No Arrows subtype produced at the facility during a single run on March 3, 1873. Of those thousands, five were sent to the Assay commission in Philadelphia for testing. The rest of the run was later ordered to be melted as the weight of fractional silver coins was adjusted in the Coinage Act of 1873. It is believed that the coin sold at auction was one of the five sent to Philadelphia, although, there is no conclusive proof.

Current thought supports the theory that the dime was held by the U.S. Mint for decades before appearing in public hands in the early 1900’s. In 1915, the 1873-CC No Arrows dime was sold at auction for $170. Once again, specific details about the coin’s ownership over the next several decades are somewhat gray. It appeared at auction again in 1950 where it sold for $3,650.

A few months later, the strike was sold to Louis Eliasberg for $4,000. With the addition of this last coveted strike, Eliasberg had established a complete collection of United States regular issue coins. It remained in his collection, and then that of his son’s, until 1996 when it sold again at auction, this time for $550,000.

The 1873-CC No Arrows dime appeared once more at auction in 1999 selling as part of an eleven piece Carson City 1873 collection. The single dime garnered an astonishing $632,500. Five years later the dime improved on that price with an auction sale of $891,250.

It was then sold by the owner, Rusty Goe, to a private buyer known as the Battle Born collector who chose to remain anonymous. With this purchase, the Battle Born Collection contained all 111 examples of Carson City struck coins. The collection realized nearly $10 million in total sales when auctioned by Stack’s Bowers Galleries on August 9, 2012.

The 111 coins of the Battle Born Carson City collection had a combined face value of less than $600. Of that amount, just $.10 is attributed to the single dime discussed in this article. Even looking at the total silver weight of 0.0720 ounces gives the strike a total melt value of just a bit over $2 based on recent market activity. (See other older U.S. coin melt values.)

If anything can be said, the sale of the collection proves that rarity is key to a coin’s value. As the only known example, the 1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated Dime is likely to become the pièce de résistance of the collection of the anonymous bidder who purchased it.

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