LOUIS ELIASBERG’S 1873-CC NO ARROWS DIME LETTER OF RECEIPT
The E-Sylum (11/7/2010)
Along the lines of Carson City ephemera, I would be remiss in not mentioning the recent Stack's Americana sale, lot #4132, which auctioned on October 1st, 2010. This lot contained Louis Eliasberg's letter to Sol Kaplan, dated November 7, 1950, in which Eliasberg acknowledged receipt of the 1873-CC No Arrows dime, which he had purchased from Kaplan for $4,000.
Eliasberg considered this the last coin in his now complete collection of US coins (the 1870-S half dime was not known at the time, and it was discovered much later that one of his three-cent nickels was actually a pattern). This letter auctioned for a staggering $8,050, or more than twice what the 1873-CC NA dime sold for in 1950!
I am not sure who won this lot, although I can say that the under bidder owns a marvelous collection of Liberty Seated Carson City coinage, and I suspect the same is true of the successful bidder.
From the auction lot description (it actually contained five letters):
A landmark piece of correspondence from the Eliasberg archives. Also included is Mr. Eliasbergs copy of the letter he sent to Joseph Stack along with payment for the 1853-O No Arrows half dollar from the Menjou Sale, noting that this was the next to last coin needed to complete the collection. Finally, two more letters dated August 1 and 2, 1950 mention a letter from Mr. Williams, likely a letter relating to the 1873-CC dime, as Charles M. Williams of Cincinnati was the previous owner of the coin. A highly important lot documenting the completion the Eliasberg Collection.
To read the complete lot description, see: Louis Eliasbergs copy of his November 7, 1950 letter to Sol Kaplan (stacks.com/Lot/ItemDetail/181246)
Only one example of the 1873-CC "NO Arrows" Dime is known to exist.
Ex: U.S. Mint Collection until 1909 when traded along with several crates of patterns and other coins for two 1877 gold Half Unions in the collection of Treasury Secretary, William Woodin.
1914 ANS Exhibit - "Collection of a Prominent American" (Wayte Raymond, May 1915) - Rudolph (Rud) Kohler Collection - Charles M. Williams Collection - sold as part of the Adolphe Menjou Collection (Numismatic Gallery, June 15, 1950), where it sold for $3,650 - James Kelly and Sol Kaplan - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. on November 7, 1950 as the last piece needed for his complete set of U.S. coins
The exact circumstances surrounding the production of this issue are unknown, but Mint records indicate that 12,400 pieces were struck. Presumably all were melted and converted to Arrows Dimes with the exception of a few saved for assay purposes. The theory is that this single coin was saved from the destructive testing done by the Assay Commission. Probably one of the assay members was able to trade it for face value at the time by merely exchanging another Dime for it. It was apparently kept in the Mint collection for several decades where it was well preserved, not appearing again for 36 years.
"In 1909, Philadelphia dealers John Haseltine and Stephen Nagy sold a pair of 1877 gold Half Union patterns for the unprecedented price of $10,000 each. The buyer was future Secretary of the Treasury, William Woodin. A short paragraph from the Bower's Eliasberg catalog describes what happened next: "A furor arose, and it was said that the pair of $50 gold patterns never should have left the Mint. The two pieces were returned to the Mint by exchange, in which "several crates" of coins--thousands totally, primarily patterns, but possibly including some other issues as well--were given to Haseltine and Nagy by Mint officials. What a treasure trove this was!"
The read the complete CoinFacts description, see: 1873-CC DIME - No Arrowheads at Date (www.coinfacts.com/dimes/seated_liberty_dimes/