Investing in Gold: Carson City gold coins are rare and elusive
for the Nevada Appeal
A few weeks ago I touched on an area of collecting dear to many Nevadans, Carson City gold coins. Once again, most people know that Carson City produced Morgan silver dollars, but not as many know that the Carson City mint also produced gold coins.
In the last article I focused on the $20 series of Carson City gold, but this time lets focus on the smallest gold coin Carson City produced, the $5 gold coin.
The United States has produced $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $10, $20, and $50 gold coins throughout its history, but the Carson City mint only made $5, $10, and $20 gold coins.
The $5 gold coin has about one quarter of an ounce of gold, and Carson City minted less than 710,000 $5 gold coins in 19 years of its 23 year history. The most produced in any one year was 208,000 in 1891 and the least was 6,887 in 1876.
Of all the Carson City gold coin series this one is the easiest to complete. Once again the 1870-CC usually reigns as king when it comes to price, but I believe the 1873-CC is actually tougher to obtain. There seem to be fewer survivors from 1873 than any other year.
The 1870-CC $5 tends to bring bigger money, but the only reason is that it was the first year of issue from the mint. Not only are there collectors trying to put sets together, but there are also those who put ‘first year’ sets together too. This added pressure on an already low supply tends to raise the price of this date. This year we sold a low grade 1870-CC $5 for over $5,000. Not too shabby for a coin with less than $300 worth of gold in it.
The easiest Carson City $5 gold coin to obtain is the 1891-CC. A nice Extra Fine example can be bought for around $600 and a nice uncirculated coin can be had for less than $2,000. If you are trying to put together a gold type set from Carson City this is the most popular coin.
As I stated earlier, this series is the easiest to complete in the Carson City gold sets, but it is still not cheap. Many of the dates in the 1870s run in the thousands for low-grade examples and just get more expensive for higher grades.
A good example is the 1871-CC. A Very Fine (PCGS VF-20) traded at the Central States coin show this April for just under $3,000. On the same floor was an uncirculated one (NGC MS-61) with an asking price of over $45,000. So as you can see, the price of a set can vary depending on the grade you seek.
If one is patient, the Carson City $5 set can be assembled over time without too much trouble. And if one just wants a nice example of a Carson City $5 gold coin, it is an easy task.
In my next article I will address the Carson City $10 gold coins. They are the rarest of the Carson City gold coins.
• Allen Rowe is the owner of Northern Nevada Coin in Carson City.