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Article by:

Allan Rowe
Northern Nevada Coin

Features

Collecting Carson City Errors

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indentMy Journey started as a young man where I collected coins and enjoyed the hunt more than anything. When I discovered that I could make money in coins I had to switch my mentality from collector to dealer and I gave up collecting for myself. A few years into my dealing career I learned that there could be a dichotomy to coins.

indentI had given up collecting so that I would not tie up the money I needed to trade with for just my collection. This came from the advice of a mentor who knew I would likely overspend on my collection if I didn't take this stance. For the first few years of my career I hustled to try and grow my business in tough and declining market. By remaining lean and working hard I was able to grow and learn even in the rough market of the 90's where all coins and precious metals were cheap. As the decade was coming to an end and I had learned about where values were I stumbled across an 1882-CC Morgan that was 10% off-center. After purchasing it I had a decision to make, sell it or keep it. My love for Carson City coins and Morgans in general had grown and now I had one with an error to boot. NFS was what I decided.

indentNot for sale, didn't mean I didn't want to share it and so I started taking it to a few shows to display it. This is where I met Mike Byers. He kept circling the coin and asking how much I wanted for it. After several shows of testing my resolve he saw that it wasn't leaving and since he couldn't buy it from me he tried selling something. At the ANA in 1999 Mike sealed my fate, he offered me the 1884-CC Morgan that was broken in half and certified in two PCGS holders, the now famous Broken CC dollar. I now had a genre of coins to collect that would not break my bank every week, Carson City error coins.

indentThe next major addition came when the Harrison Phillips collection came up for sale. Harrison was a dealer that like me had hustled for years in coins and yet he had saved much more than I ever had. He had a tremendous collection of error dollars and they were coming up for auction. The one that I keyed in on was an 1891-CC Morgan that was off-center. As the auction came closer there was a little bit of a buzz as to how much this coin would be worth. I went to the auction with a number in mind but ended up like a deer in the headlights and just didn't put the paddle down until the auctioneer called my number. After purchasing the coin Harrison's brother, Tom Phillips, came up to me and congratulated me on the purchase. Tom said that of all the coins Harrison had purchased in his lifetime that it had always been his favorite. What an honor to be a steward of it now.

indentOver the years and as our website grew I added a show and tell section to our website and by doing so a few other dealers and collectors have offered me more CC errors. The Broken CC dollar being so unique did garner some talk and questions of what other coins like it were worth. A second broken dollar was once featured in a coin world article with the 1884-CC. The second coin was an 1879-S with an approximate 20% and 80% piece in two holders. It did come to auction but I did not bid on it at the time as my collection had not advanced that far yet. Later a dealer in Iowa called me about a 1921 Morgan broken close to how the 1884-CC is. He didn't sell it to me but rather certified it at ANACS and then put it in a Scotsman auction. I did not bid in it there and later bought it from the person who did. As the broken dollar collection grew another coin came to light, this time an 1880-CC Morgan. The person who sold it to me claimed that it had come out of a GSA. I bought the coin and had it certified at PCGS in two holders. Within a few years another collector didn't sell or give me a coin but rather a copy of a document that hasn't circulated much. It was a list of Carson City error coin that a group of error specialists had examined in the GSA hoard. This 1880-CC was in there along with a few other coins that I now own. What a great tie in.

indentThe next major coin I added to the collection was a Carson City gold coin error. Doug Winter knowing that I liked the Carson City error coins offered me the only CC gold error I've heard of (other than minor planchet flaws), a broad struck $20 gold, and to boot it is a mint state coin with tons of eye appeal. For such a great coin I don't have much of a story or background for the coin, but I am thankful to Doug for offering it to me as it remains a dear coin to the collection.

indentThe last individual coin I will bring up (for now) is one that I just happened to run across on eBay. I was searching for 1870-CC seated dollars to fill in type sets when I ran across one that was broad struck. I quickly contacted the owner to try and buy it. The owner being in the Midwest wanted to try and consummate the deal in person. We came to a price and formulated a plan to meet in a few months, way to long for my liking. One thing lead to another and as a year passed we finally came to deal to mail me the coin. The error borders on the off-center and does stand out more than most broad struck coins. In all my research I have not come across another major seated dollar error and to have a first year CC just fits perfectly into the collection.

indentI think the most fun I've had in building this collection is not only the challenge of finding coins but also making the deals to get them. I have missed a few over the years and that is ok. I am sure that some will circle back my way and if they don't then hopefully someone else out there is getting as much joy out of this as I am. I have been fortunate enough to make some great friends and relationships in this endeavor. I look forward to the next addition and the relationships that come from it too.


Allen Rowe is the owner of Northern Nevada Coin with three locations including the store directly across the street from the Carson City Mint. Northern Nevada Coin was incorporated in 1993. Allen still attends most major shows and is active in the numismatic community.


Here is a selection of Carson City Mint Errors
from the Northern Nevada Dollar Error Gallery:




1882-CC 10% Off Center Morgan Dollar

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This first coin is an Uncirculated 1882-CC Dollar that was struck 10% off center. What this means is that the planchet being fed into the press had not come to rest on the dies before it was struck. Like the Broken CC, this coin has two of the same attributes that make us excited. It is from our home town of Carson City and it is a Morgan dollar error. We do love CC errors!

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1891-CC 10% Off Center Morgan Dollar

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Our newest acquisition is an 1891-CC Dollar struck 10% off-center. This piece is a similar error to the 1882-CC, but with some exciting twists. This is now our second favorite error, only because the Broken CC Dollar simply cannot be topped. However, this piece is not only a rare date CC Dollar, but also extremely nice for the grade. We do love CC errors!

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1884-CC Struck Through Grease Morgan Dollar

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Another new acquisition we have just added is an 1884-CC Dollar graded MS-61 that was struck through grease giving it a very interesting flat look.

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1878-CC Rotated Reverse Morgan Dollar

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What's so special about this coin? This Carson City Dollar error has a rotated reverse. If you hold a U.S. coin in your hand and turn it top over bottom (not side to side) the reverse should appear right side up. With this coin, the reverse was struck with a rotated die!

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1883-CC Partial Collar Strike Morgan Dollar

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1880-CC Partial Collar Strike Morgan Dollar

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1872-CC 5% Off Center Seated Liberty Half Dollar

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1890-CC Minor Struck-Thru Morgan Dollar

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1890-CC Planchet Lamentation Morgan Dollar

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1884-CC Split After Strike

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During the minting process metal alloy is rolled out like cookie dough. Blanks, or planchets, are punched from the strips, just like making cookies. Occasionally the planchet suffers from an improper mixing of the metal. This happens more often than you might think, and when it does results may vary. Most often small flakes break away form the coin. Every once in a while a much larger break will occur, usually splitting the coin in half like an Oreo cookie. Rarer yet, a break across the coin (such as the one we have) occurs. Most of these types of errors would have never left the mint building because at that time coins were just money and nobody wanted a piece of money they couldn't spend. Besides that, the coiner could be fired for shoddy work. Quality control would have thrown this one back into the melting pot had they caught it. The fact that the break occurred on such a large coin also adds to its intrigue. On larger coins, errors were most often caught and destroyed at the mint being as they were easier to spot. Another amazing fact is that both halves of the coin remained with each other. In the world of errors, split planchets often have only one the two pieces surviving. We are glad that this coin has come to us having survived all these years in the state of preservation that it is.

We are proud of our trademark error at Northern Nevada Coin. Our error has it all! It is from our hometown of Carson City, it is a Morgan dollar error, it is split almost perfectly in half, and we have both halves preserved in mint state 64. We do believe that this piece is unique and more interesting than any other coin we have ever seen.

"What's the value?" you might ask. Errors are highly sought after prizes. It is a Morgan dollar error, which are exceedingly rare, not to mention the most dramatic error we have ever seen on a Morgan dollar - the most widely collected series in numismatics - making this piece of great interest to many collectors. Furthermore, it is a Carson City Morgan dollar - the most sought after mint - much desired by those who collect only CC material. So...who knows! All we know is that the coin is not for sale and we do not disclose what it took to own this beauty. We will not discuss what we think it should sell for if we sold it, because we won't. It is here only so that you can see and enjoy it along with us. We hope you enjoy previewing this rarity.

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1884-CC Weak Strike Morgan Dollar

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1881-CC Defective Planchet at 6:30 Morgan Dollar

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1880/79-CC Minor Strike-Thru Obv at 6:30 Morgan Dollar

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1880-CC Minor Struck-Thru Obv Morgan Dollar

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1879-CC Struck Through Morgan Dollar

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1878-CC 75 Degree Rotated Rev Morgan Dollar

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1878-CC 60 Degree Clockwise Rotated Rev Morgan Dollar

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1874-CC Minor Struck-Thru Obv Trade Dollar

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1873-CC Double Struck in Collar Seated Liberty

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1875-CC Partial Collar Liberty Head

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1873-CC Laminated Planchet Obv Liberty Seated Quarter

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1882-CC Obverse Struck Thru/Planchet Flaw Morgan Dollar

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1891-CC Obverse Struck Thru GSA Morgan Dollar

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1878-CC Rotated Dies Morgan Dollar

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1884-CC Reverse Struck Thru Wood GSA Morgan Dollar

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