The 1872-CC, like the 1871-CC, is an issue that was used in commerce and, as a result, it is not often seen today in grades above EF45 to AU50. It is extremely rare in Uncirculated and lustrous, properly graded AU55 to AU58 coins are rare and in great demand. This piece is outstanding for the date and grade with bright, lustrous surfaces that have a nice rich yellow-gold hue. There is more than enough luster present to strongly suggest that this coin could grade AU58 but I think there are just a few too many tiny nicks on the obverse for it to do so at PCGS. The eye appeal of this coin is far better than average and unless you have ample patience and a big budget to buy an Uncirculated example, this 1872-CC is really about as nice as the date comes. Of the twenty-two finer that PCGS has graded, only two (an MS60 and an MS62) are in Uncirculated holders. A rare and important early date Carson City double eagle.
There are only two half eagles from the Carson City mint that are unknown in Uncirculated: the 1872-CC and the 1878-CC. The 1872-CC is not as rare, overall, as the 1878-CC but it is a scarce coin in all grades with slightly more than 100 known from the original mintage of 16,980. The present example is completely new to the market, having recently been found in Europe. It is the single most original 1872-CC half eagle that I have seen with lovely deep, even green-gold color atop lightly worn, satiny surfaces. This date is typically seen bright and many of the coins in AU holders have been recolored (I have seen at least two with horrible Cheeto orange color). This is compounded by the fact that the surfaces on most are deeply abraded. Not so on this piece, as it is very clean with no marks of note. In the last few years, I have only handled one 1872-CC half eagle that was slightly better than this; an NGC AU58 that was CAC approved. Comparing this example to recent offerings, it is similar in quality to Heritage 4/06: 1890 (PCGS 55; $28,750) and much nicer than Heritage 1/23/07: 1415 (PCGS 55; $25,000) or Stack's Bowers 6/11: 9492 (PCGS 55; $25,300). The demand for choice Carson City gold coins has grown considerably in the last few years and, in my opinion, this is the best 1872-CC half eagle that is available. It is the only AU55 that has received CAC approval (two in AU58 have as well). A very important offering for the advanced specialist.
This is one of the few really nice examples of this date that I have seen in an EF45 holder; most are overgraded, overdipped and overabraded. The surfaces are extremely clean with limited abrasions and attractive medium natural green-gold color. The 1872-CC is the first double eagle from this mint that can be acquired by the collector of average means. It is comparable to the 1873-CC but it is a touch more available in higher grades. I rank it as the fifth rarest of nineteen CC double eagles in terms of high grade rarity. This issue becomes pricey in AU grades and, to my eyes, this choice EF example has better eye appeal than most graded AU50 or even AU53.