Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 50,555
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: $174.40 (3/5/2015)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1855 $3 MS obverse 1855 $3 MS reverse

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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

As with other odd denominations of the 19th century, the three dollar gold piece saw its production fall dramatically from the first year to the second. In an article for the August 29, 2006 edition of Numismatic News, R.W. Julian describes the contrast between the mintages of 1854 and 1855: 'Because of [the denomination's] novelty, there was a reasonable coinage of the new pieces at Philadelphia in 1854, nearly 139,000 pieces, but the demand and mintage would start to slip in 1855 and continue to do so.'

Julian continues by noting that 'While there was never any great demand for the $3 gold piece, there was still enough gold deposited at the Philadelphia Mint in 1855' for another substantial issue, its mintage most often listed as 50,555 business strikes. While that figure is enough to qualify the 1855 as a higher-mintage issue in the context of the denomination, the 1855 was not saved in quantity the way the 1854 was. As a result, while the 1855 three dollar gold piece is an accepted type issue in circulated and the lowest Mint State grades, by the Select level, it is distinctly scarcer than the 1854, 1874, or 1878, the most common type issues.

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.

1855 $3 MS
Base $ 470 540 690 910 1090 1090 1450 1570 1660 2650 3400 3800 4350 9000 13250 39850 51980 - - - -
$ 1200 1620 1750 1830 2900 3700 4100 4700 9800 16000 43000 56000 - -

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: 1214
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
3/21/1998 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 1998 Mid-Winter ANA Signature Sale #184, 184/Lot# 6370 $1,380.00
7/17/2005 NGC AU 55   Teletrade Auction 2066, 2066/Lot# 1707 $1,430.00
9/10/2006 NGC MS 63   Goldberg September 10-13, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 37/Lot# 1868 $9,085.00
10/4/2007 NGC AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 183, 189/Lot# 6836 $1,955.00
5/27/2012 NGC XF 45   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19995/Lot# 1255 $877.00
6/3/2012 NGC AU 53   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/03/2012, 25/Lot# 55097 $1,211.10
7/27/2013 NGC AU 55   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 31210 $950.58
6/4/2014 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions 2014 June 4 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(7), 1206/Lot# 9574 $646.25
9/7/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 127590 $875.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1855 $3 MS
1855 $3 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 1936
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
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