More than 1 million 1870 Liberty Head double eagles were struck, and for the first time since 1861, three mint facilities handled the duty of striking $20 gold coins. However, unlike in previous years when the trio of the Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco mints were making double eagles, the Carson City (CC) mint took the role of “third” mint, replacing New Orleans in this situation. Gold coins were mainly used in the West, and the Carson City mint was geographically well positioned to the fill the need of supplying circulating gold coins where thy were most in demand. However, as revealed below, relatively few gold coins came from the Carson City mint.
Here is a breakdown of the mintages and values of 1870 double eagle gold coins:
1870, 155,150; $2,000
1870-CC, 3,789; $275,000
1870-S, 982,000; $1,950
1870 proof, 35; $215,000
*Values are for coins in a grade of Extremely Fine 40 unless otherwise specified.
While the 1870-CC double eagle mintage of just 3,789 is quite low, many of those coins were melted, leaving behind but a handful of specimens, virtually all in circulated condition. All pre-1933 gold coins are relatively uncommon, and therefore it’s wise to buy any older U.S. gold coins in certified slabs from reputable third-party coin grading firms such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or the American Numismatic Association Certification Service (ANACS).