Why hasn’t Carson City gold performed well during this past five years? I have been asked this question a number of times in the past few months and I think it is worthy of some consideration. In my opinion, the real reason why you haven’t been hearing much about Carson City gold lately is that there simply hasn’t been much for sale. In the past few years, I can recall just a handful of specialized collections being offered for sale. When I go to coin shows, I don’t see much Carson City gold and what I see tends to either be lower grade examples of scarcer dates or middle grade examples of common CC double eagles.
My conclusion is that the reason why Carson City gold coinage currently appears to be in slumber mode is that there just haven’t been many important examples offered since the Bass collection in 1999-2001 and the Lang collection in 2002 were auctioned by ANR.
Now, I don’t personally think that Carson City gold is out-of-favor or difficult to sell. It just seems that, for whatever reason, most of the major pieces that have traded since the Lang sale in July 2002 have been private, non-auction transactions. In the instances that important Carson City gold coins have appeared at auction, they have generally been one or two at a time and have sort of slipped under the radar. This has been a segment that isn’t easily monitored, unlike other areas of the rare date gold market.
I think this is going to change soon. ANR is offering a very important collection of Carson City half eagles and eagles in their pre-ANA auction in Denver this summer. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that these coins are owned by a client of mine and that I helped assemble the collection).
This virtually complete date run of Carson City half eagles and eagles is known as the Old West collection and it contains some very major coins. Some highlights are as follows:
1870-CC PCGS AU58 (ex Bass) 1872-CC NGC AU58 1874-CC PCGS AU58 1880-CC PCGS MS62 1881-CC NGC MS62 1891-CC PCGS MS65
1870-CC PCGS AU55 1872-CC PCGS AU55 1874-CC PCGS AU58 1876-CC PCGS AU58 1881-CC NGC MS64 (ex Eliasberg) 1882-CC NGC MS62 1884-CC PCGS MS62
This auction should show gold coin market observers exactly how strong rare date Carson City half eagles and eagles are—or aren’t. Many of the coins are among the finest known and a number are pedigreed to major collections and/or were plated in my second book on Carson City gold coinage. It will be very interesting to see the prices that these coins bring.
For more information on the Old West collection of Carson City half eagles and eagles, look at my website in the coming months as I am certain to write a number of features about these coins.