Coin Specifications

Category: Three Cent Nickels (1865-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 604,000
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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1871 3CN MS obverse 1871 3CN MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

Production of this coin plunged in 1871, due to Congressional action that permitted the Treasury to reissue those minor coins turned in for redemption that were considered still fit for circulation. This meant that only the coins lost, mutilated or excessively worn needed to be replaced with newly struck ones.

The 1871 three-cent piece is thus more scarce than earlier issues, though catalog prices don't necessarily reflect this fact. The relatively high availability of proof examples for all later dates in this series has had the effect of capping prices for currency pieces.

The only variety reported for 1871 is a fairly distinct doubled-die obverse affecting the entire legend.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/31/2015

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

1871 3CN MS
Base $ 16.50 20.00 24.00 30.00 45.00 75.00 85.00 95.00 105 170 190 230 350 915 1700 12500 - - -
$ 52.00 - - - 115 - 210 255 425 1025 2900 - -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Total Graded: 236
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
4/7/2001 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2001 April Indianapolis, IN (CSNS) Bullet Sale #257, 257/Lot# 211 $184.00
4/25/2005 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Richmond Sale, Internet-Only Auction, 40/Lot# 223 $193.20
5/24/2009 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg May 24-27, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 53/Lot# 388 $603.75
10/13/2011 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(1), 1160/Lot# 3313 $1,150.00
11/9/2011 NGC Details AU Details  Teletrade Auction 3170, 3170/Lot# 1250 $39.00
5/5/2013 PCGS MS 63   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/05/2013, 73/Lot# 113163 $288.77
4/14/2014 PCGS MS 63   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3477, 6026/Lot# 20086 $176.25
8/5/2014 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(1), 1208/Lot# 3228 $2,232.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1871 3CN MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 502
Owner: bartlesvilleok
Grade: MS 62
Points: 450
Owner: bartlesvilleok
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