Coin Specifications

Category: Three Cent Nickels (1865-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,335,000
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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1870 3CN MS obverse 1870 3CN MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Minting of this coin type fell a little further in 1870, as these coins were struck only as needed to replace those redeemed at banks and Sub-Treasuries. There was as yet no authorization to re-issue those coins still fit for circulation, but this would change in 1871.

The typical 1870 three-cent piece is reasonably well struck, with only Liberty's lowest curls and the Roman III being subject to weak spots. Gems are rare.

The example illustrated shows the streaky toning so common to copper-nickel coins from incomplete mixing of the alloy. Areas of copper concentration get drawn out in the planchet rolling process, and these then tone more rapidly than the properly blended areas.

Several varieties are noted for this date, and the better ones are recognized by NGC under its VarietyPlus Service.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/18/2013

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1870 3CN MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 16.10 19.20 22.80 28.80 45.60 45.60 68.40 75.60 81.60 109 132 150 168 215 310 730 1760 7640 - - -
$ 51.00 77.00 85.00 91.00 122 148 168 188 240 350 800 1940 8300 -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 414
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 67


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Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
5/5/2004 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2004 May (CSNS) Signature Sale #346, 346/Lot# 5966 $1,552.50
9/23/2007 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg September 23-26, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 42/Lot# 1151 $253.00
12/22/2008 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 312, 318/Lot# 2536 $126.50
2/28/2012 PCGS MS 65   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 1781 $575.00
7/12/2012 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2012 July 12-15 US Coin Summer FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(1), 1172/Lot# 3286 $1,380.00
11/11/2012 PCGS MS 62   Teletrade Auction 3379, 3379/Lot# 1244 $195.50
9/29/2013 PCGS VF 25   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/29/2013, 94/Lot# 141026 $31.00


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