First Read, a continuing series of essays about classic and contemporary works of numismatic literature …
The Confident Carson City Coin Collector is the most significant numismatic magnum musical composition published on the subject of american coinage since the 1987 publication of Walter Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of U.S and Colonial Coins. It is a detail-rich, engrossing, epic poem shape that presents history, comment, and grocery store data at such a high level that it will not merely prove to be the authoritative reference on the topic of collecting Carson City coins but besides provides a successful recipe that should be employed by other writers seeking to flesh out the history of american coinage at the other outgrowth mints .
The Confident Carson City Coin Collector draws upon a treasure trove of primary documents to tell the story of a mint indeed directly tied to the Old West that the GSA advertised the sale of its hoard of CC-Mint Morgan dollars as the coins that Jesse James didn ’ metric ton bargain. It besides provides collectors with a road map of how to collect the serial “ confidently ”. In constructing the books, author Rusty Goe explains that he was trying to accomplish five things : 1 ) to present each year of the Carson City Mint ’ s coinmaking era chronologically ; 2 ) to incorporate as many basal sources as potential ; 3 ) to attempt to answer questions concerning the Carson City Mint and its coins that are of the most interest ; 4 ) to focus on what makes the Carson City Mint and its coins so absorbing, and 5 ) to open doors for further study of the Carson City Mint and its coins .
It ’ sulfur not as if others couldn ’ t have tried to execute this formula, but it becomes cursorily apparent upon reading that cipher outside of Goe speaks of the Carson City Mint and its neologism as fluently and has such a big eye for the marketplace insights that collectors need before actually purchasing the coins themselves.
This is particularly important since the Carson City Mint is one of the most commercially trade mints in the american coin grocery store. In the bible ’ mho initiation, Goe describes a collector who walked into his mint shop with option uncirculated Carson City Morgan dollars struck from 1882 to 1884, all in certified holders, that he purchased after seeing an ad in a magazine. Asking whether he got a commodity deal on the coins, Goe informed the collector that he had not and advised the collector to return them as the company ’ mho render window had not so far expired. Goe, sensing that the collector had a actual interest in learning about and collecting Carson City coins, began to work with him and before long the collector ’ second interest blossomed .
This anecdote can be writ big across a multitude of series specialties and speaks to the special relationship collectors should foster with the right dealers .
Over the course of more than 2,400 pages, Goe sets out to accomplish all five of his objectives. The diachronic narratives are constructed through meticulous research, abundantly illustrated, and present the floor of the Mint in an easy-to-read chronological pace. Frankly, we felt that Bowers and Galiette ’ second exploit in this distance on Liberty Head Double Eagles 1849-1907 : The Gilded Age of Coinage, published in 2013, reinvigorated this tried-and-true formula for numismatic books. Goe ’ randomness narratives go beyond the ones presented there .
As for the coin-by-coin analysis, looking at the entrance for the 1882-CC Morgan dollar, his collector would have benefited enormously from the cognition that this common-date issue had a survival rate of over 600,000 coins – think of that there are more examples of this about 140-year-old eloquent dollar that survive in Mint State than respective dates of Proof Silver Eagles struck for collectors over the course of that series ’ tend .
Goe besides delves into market analysis and comment that provides a clear scene of each issue. This is not your dim-witted “ In November 2012, a PCGS exemplar in MS67DMPL sold for… ” narrative. rather, Goe offers a clear-eyed view of great coins, great collectors, details the versatile nuances of each write out, and explains why the certifiable coin landscape is forever changing. The writer goes into great contingent explaining why some coins sell for more and how ebb and flows in the market in late years have impacted each issue .
This is a top-level analysis provided by a talented practitioner of the craft and the architect of the historically significant Battle Born Collection .
The beginning volume discusses the events leading up to the Mint ’ s establishment, from the purchase of the state and the lay of the cornerstone to the fall of the first coins in 1870 and on through 1874. here you will learn about how coins were made, how certain coins became great coins, and how those bang-up coins were sold over the class of 130+ years of numismatic history. volume 2 deals with the Mint at the acme of its aura and through its many approximate spells and covers the time of James Crawford’s tenure as Mint Superintendent. Crawford served from September 1874 to March 8, 1885, when he died in office. The third volume covers the resumption of coinage from 1889 through 1893 when Carson City struck its concluding piece .
A minor quibble concerns Goe ’ s lack of focus on the Mint during its nonoperational period of 1886-1888 and its status as a United States Assay Office, which lasted until 1933. As there were no coins to collect from these two periods, it is apprehensible that these topics fell outside of the horizon of this stick out .
Beyond the august narrative, collectors will appreciate the work put into the diverse appendices found in these three volumes .
In volume 2, Appendix II deals with the controversial issue of Proof coinage at the Carson City Mint. Goe cites the often at odds guidelines that have been employed over the years to confer Proof condition upon respective exceeding CC-mint specimens. clearly, this is an area for the advance specialist and Goe ’ s comment should prove specially insightful for those wishing to explore this area of the airfield .
In volume 3, Appendix II describes the finest-known specimens of all 111 “ CC ” date-denominations per Goe ’ s decades ’ -long analysis. Among those so enumerate are many from the Battle Born Collection, angstrom well as a number of other important and esteemed coin cabinets from the twentieth century. Collectors Bob Simpson, Eugene Gardner, and Dell Loy Hansen are but a few of the more recent owners to have dabbled in the top end of Carson City coinage.
tied more interest, and proving how unpredictable numismatics can be, Goe accounts for recently discovered examples, such as the only known Mint State 1879-CC eagle –discovered in Alaska circa 2005–and the beautiful 1890-CC double eagle that was among hundreds of gold coins hidden in apparent sight on a California property that became known as the Saddle Ridge Hoard when it was marketed by Kagin’s starting in 2013 .
besides in Goe ’ second list are coins whose whereabouts are presently obscure, like the finest known 1870-CC double eagle ( NGC AU58 ) that was reported as stolen in October 2011 and has never been seen since. Goe ’ randomness work here will prove essential for specialists, researchers, and cataloguers .
far appendices show Goe ’ randomness preference for thinking around the offspring. Appendix III provides a cost estimate ( based on 2018 price ) of every one of the finest know coins in the 111-piece set. here, our missing 1870-CC $ 20 has an estimated price of $ 1 million, making the finest known 1875-CC dime seem like a cheapie at merely $ 10,000. In the 2018 mint market, Goe posits that it would cost north of $ 22 million to complete the set of finest knowns ; so far given the white coin marketplace of 2021, this number seems a touch low. More than the cost involved, the time it would take to assemble this collection runs into the decades… if it ’ second tied potential. Given that reality, that $ 22 million numeral will likely balloon in the years to come .
Goe besides tracks the price development of Carson City neologism through versatile iterations of the Red Book from 1947 to 2018. Students of Red Book pricing already know the ten thousand complexities added to the market with the insertion of numerical grade and the subsequently initiation of slabbing. silent, some will find the price progress matter to and long for the days when a $ 400,000 curio could have been purchased years ago for less than a thousand .
A final appendix of note has tables of the surviving populations of all Carson City coins. information like this, albeit inquisitive, is more crucial to collectors than a coin ’ mho published mintage as it represents the maximum act of pieces of each offspring circulating in the numismatic grocery store. Goe far breaks down these numbers by creating tables that list the scarce issues in the series .
For those that like to write in their books, Goe besides offers a checklist for the 111 mint set ampere well as for the ten-piece Carson City Coin Type Set .
I mention these “ afterthoughts ” in Goe ’ s workplace because what constitutes an appendix in The Confident Carson City Coin Collector would be the main course in about any other numismatic book. The convinced Carson City Coin Collector will be a standard reference for years to come. It is impossible to think of a more thorough or collector-focused concept to present actual history, numismatic history, and market data than the access Goe takes here .
For all of these reasons and more, CoinWeek gives The convinced Carson City Coin Collector our highest recommendation .
Some may balk at the $ 299 price charge of this three-volume plant, but there is no $ 300 coin you can buy that will prove as valuable to you as this three-volume set .
And given that Goe has no plans to re-release The Confident Carson City Coin Collector after it sells out ( less than half the print run remains unsold ), it ’ s not unlikely that those who do not arrange their replicate now will have to pay hundreds more to obtain one on the secondary market .
Wait at your own fiscal hazard .
The Confident Carson City Coin Collector, volume 1 : The Beginning to Comstock Lode ’ s Launch to Glory, 1870-1874. 831 pp, full-color illustrations.
The Confident Carson City Coin Collector, bulk 2 : Bonanza Times to James Crawford ’ s Death, 1875-1885. 1008 pp, full-color illustrations .
The Confident Carson City Coin Collector, bulk 3 : The Carson City Mint ’ s Rebirth to Farewell Reflections, 1889-1893. 630 pp, full-color illustrations .
All three volumes are sold as a bundle. MSRP $299.