The 1871-CC eagle is an intriguing date. It is the second most available Carson City eagle from this decade (after the 1874-CC) but, like all the early issue gold and silver from this mint (i.e., pre-1875), it circulated very extensively in the Western states and, as a result, it is exceedingly rare in high grades. I am aware of just two Uncirculated 1871-CC eagles and it is a very rare coin in properly graded AU55 to AU58. This lustrous example is the first higher grade 1871-CC that I have seen in many years that is not overly bright from a recent dipping. It shows nice medium yellow-gold color with a slight reddish-orange tint as it is tilted towards the light. The surfaces show an acceptable number of marks for the grade with a few scuffs in the fields and two small reeding marks (from contact with another coin) on Liberty's neck. I think this coin is significantly nicer than Stack's-Bowers 2011 ANA: 7730 (graded AU58 by NGC and sold for $25,875) and it is the first PCGS AU55 to be available since Heritage 2007 ANA: 1975 which sold for $19,550 in a market which was far less appreciative of high quality CC eagles than the current one. There are a few auction records of over $25,000 for PCGS AU55's in 2006. A very important coin that will, no doubt, find a home in a very important collection of Liberty Head eagles.
The 1871-CC is the second rarest double eagle from this mint. Given the fact that all but a few collectors will ever purchase an 1870-CC, this date is, therefore, the most significant expenditure that they will make for their CC double eagle set. Nearly all of the 1871-CC double eagles that I've seen for the last five+ years, no matter if they were graded by NGC or PCGS, have been characterized by unoriginality and poor quality surfaces. This example is a notable exception. It is choice and totally original with lovely deep, natural orange-gold color that becomes a bit more intense at the borders. The surfaces are wonderfully clean and this is an exception for this issue as most 1871-CC double eagles have extensive marks. The strike is sharp and even and the overall level of eye appeal males this among the more aesthetically appealing examples of this rare date that I have seen in many years. I recently saw an NGC AU53 example trade wholesale for $36,000 which I thought wasn't remotely as nice as this piece. If you have been hunting for a great 1871-CC double eagle, this is a coin that you should give strong consideration to.