Coin Specifications

Category: Three Cent Nickels (1865-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,077,000
Catalog: KM-95
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 1.94grams
Diameter: 17.9mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1881 3CN MS obverse 1881 3CN MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®


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Description & Analysis

No satisfactory explanation has been offered that would account for the huge spike in mintage for this coin in 1881. It posted such low numbers in the years preceding and following that there seems little reason to have produced so many.

Whatever the story, 1881 three-cent pieces are very common worn. Mint State examples are fairly plentiful, though gems are only slightly more common than for the low-mintage dates. Most pieces are reasonably well made, and the large numbers produced resulted in most Mint State survivors having frosty luster rather than the semi-prooflike smoothness typical of low-mintage coins.

Several repunched dates are known for 1881, and the best of these are attributed by NGC under its VarietyPlus Service.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/18/2013

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

1881 3CN MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 14.95 18.00 20.40 27.60 40.80 40.80 63.60 69.60 74.40 86.40 120 132 150 200 315 675 1350 5100 - - -
$ 46.00 71.00 78.00 83.00 97.00 134 148 168 220 400 775 1500 5500 -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 563
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/16/2004 PCGS MS 63   Teletrade Auction 1897, 1897/Lot# 1141 $110.00
8/31/2004 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #24091, 24091/Lot# 13191 $560.05
6/2/2005 NGC VF 30   Heritage Auctions 2005 June Long Beach Signature Auction #376, 376/Lot# 7323 $402.50
9/19/2005 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg September 19-21, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 32/Lot# 1565 $776.25
9/21/2005 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2005 September Long Beach Signature Auction #384, 384/Lot# 1321 $431.25
5/28/2009 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 379, 385/Lot# 8094 $115.00
11/10/2013 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 11/10/2013, 100/Lot# 148501 $189.20
4/28/2014 PCGS MS 62   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3479, 6028/Lot# 20089 $88.13


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1881 3CN MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base12162437506711115519021624827232042350257512391886275445651073018662
1318284155811251661982262562883544495267961454217533576620133740
000000125166198226256288354449526796145421753357662000
0000001401782072372643043884755501017167024643961867500
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 64
Points: 575
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
 
Grade: AU 58
Points: 248
Owner: mikefromct
 
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