Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 138,618
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: $174.12 (11/27/2014)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1854 $3 MS obverse 1854 $3 MS reverse

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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

February 21, 1853, was an important date in the history of American numismatics. Congress enacted legislation to reduce the weight of minor silver coinage, also authorizing the issuance of three dollar gold pieces. Section 7 of the Mint Act of that date read: 'And be it further enacted, that from time to time there shall be struck and coined at the Mint of the United States, and the branches thereof, conformably in all respects to law, and conformably in all respects to the standard of gold coins now established by law, a coin of gold of the value of three dollars, or units, and all the provisions of an act entitled 'An act to authorize the coinage of gold dollars and double eagles,' approved March third, eighteen hundred and forty nine, shall be applied to the coin herein authorized, so far as the same may be applicable, but the devices and shape of the three dollar piece shall be fixed by Secretary of the Treasury.'

The obverse features an Indian princess facing left, wearing a feathered headdress with a beaded band inscribed LIBERTY. Around is the statutory legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The reverse has an agricultural or cereal wreath enclosing the date and denomination. The letters in the denomination DOLLARS are smaller and shorter than the date digits, the only year where that occurred (and technically making this a one-year design subtype). James B. Longacre duplicated the design for this coinage issue, with the appropriate denomination change, for the new type of gold dollar.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/10/2014

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

1854 $3 MS
Base $ 400 515 580 890 1090 1090 1325 1425 1550 1875 2550 3000 4000 6350 8100 22500 34000 92500 185000 - -
$ 1200 1450 1560 1650 2050 2750 3450 4500 7000 10000 - - - -
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Total Graded: 3964
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/24/2003 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg February 24-25, 2003 Coin Auction, 17/Lot# 1978 $6,037.50
9/6/2004 NGC XF 40   Teletrade Auction 1932, 1932/Lot# 1981 $1,045.00
7/31/2011 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131132/Lot# 27196 $2,300.00
10/23/2011 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131144/Lot# 20708 $1,207.50
12/8/2011 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2011 December 8-11 US Coins Signature Auction- New York Session(3), 1162/Lot# 4495 $4,887.50
11/25/2012 PCGS XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 11/25/2012, 50/Lot# 82940 $936.10
9/23/2013 PCGS AU 55   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20992/Lot# 2072 $1,287.00
3/30/2014 NGC MS 87   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 797, 806/Lot# 260 $690.00
4/28/2014 PCGS MS 98   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3479, 6028/Lot# 20625 $552.25
6/8/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/08/2014, 202/Lot# 199333 $722.70

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1854 $3 MS
1854 $3 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 2699
Owner: Robert Baker Trust
Grade: MS 61
Points: 2268
Owner: hamitchell
View the Registry Image Gallery

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