Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 291
Catalog: KM-84
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5.0150g
AGW: 0.1451oz
Melt Value: $189.92 (7/26/2014)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1888 $3 PF obverse 1888 $3 PF reverse


Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions (HA.com)
  
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Description & Analysis

With a proof mintage of 291 pieces, this date is widely known as being the most plentiful date of the type, quite possibly having been sold in extra numbers to eastern U.S. business moguls of the Gilded Age, just ending at the same time as the production of the gorgeous Indian threes were also drawing to a close. It is likely that well-heeled collectors of the day knew that this curious denomination would soon cease to be produced, which possibly accounts for the extra proofs made in 1888 (although Breen comments, as have many others, that the end of the three dollar gold production, in its commercial version, coincided with the end of the three cent postage stamp, for which one of these coins was a handy way to purchase a hundred such stamps). While 'available,' the proofs of this year are far from common, attested to by the fairly modest numbers of those certified by all grading services. Hard times and a devastating world war were soon coming to America: a sizable percentage of those proofs made in 1888 went into hiding, were melted, or were simply spent through the early 1930s. This cataloger (BL) has personal knowledge of one of these being found in a bank's change in the mid-1920s. The result of this passage of time was that few truly choice examples exist today--a fraction of those minted.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/5/2013

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1888 $3 PF
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 5100 6880 7940 9500 12500 16500 31880 50000 - - - -
$ - - - - 5500 7400 8600 10200 13500 18000 34400 54000 - -
1888 $3 PF Cameo
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - 12000 13500 17810 34380 56880 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 13000 14700 19200 35500 61000 - -
1888 $3 PF Ultra Cameo
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - 14060 16560 21500 - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 15200 17900 23000 - - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 91
Low Grade: 55
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
7/25/1998 NGC PF 65   Teletrade Auction 1070, 1070/Lot# 1293 $19,950.00
10/27/2010 NGC PF 62   Heritage Auctions 2010 October Stamford Coinfest Signature US Coin Auction #1145, 1145/Lot# 4749 $3,450.00
1/29/2012 NGC PF 65   Goldberg January 29 - February 1, 2012 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 67/Lot# 1446 $10,465.00
7/8/2012 PCGS Genuine Genuine   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/08/2012, 30/Lot# 54952 $550.00
7/12/2012 PCGS PF 64   Heritage Auctions 2012 July 12-15 US Coin Summer FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(3), 1172/Lot# 4832 $13,800.00
1/1/2013 PCGS   Cameo Stack's Bowers The January 2013 Americana Sale, 180/Lot# 13305 $19,093.75
3/21/2014 PCGS PF 64   Heritage Auctions 2014 March 21 & 23 US Coins Signature Auction - San Francisco Session(2), 1198/Lot# 10602 $7,637.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1888 $3 PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111111928275428022834288029103149414146945158650970779588118181514819784
111116432203277028122849289029893479432548485608669879141033112928166930
000000220327702812284928902989347943254848560866987914103311292800
000000247827862823286429003069381045095003605868878751110741403800
1888 $3 PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111112124300930603094314431763431448550715563698975861022612561160401
111117082419302630713110315432613782468052356038718884661100413720160400
000000241930263071311031543261378246805235603871888466110041372000
000000271430433082312731653346413348755399651373879346117821488000
1888 $3 PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111112464344735033541359536313912507157116248779884451129413802175241
111118222791346535153559360737244298528458906764801393941213015042175240
000000279134653515355936073724429852845890676480139394121301504200
0000003119348435283577361938184684549760697281822910344129661628300
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