Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 14,000
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: $164.66 (8/29/2015)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1857 S $3 MS obverse 1857 S $3 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

1857-S threes are usually only encountered in VF-XF grades. In 1857, gold dust was still plentiful in the San Francisco area following the Gold Rush that began in 1848. After the newly built branch mint resolved its problems with a lack of parting acids in 1855, there was still a significant need for lower denomination gold coins on the West Coast. In 1857, there were 14,250 three dollar gold pieces struck in the western facility. While that seems like a paltry number, it is actually a significant mintage for this little-used odd denomination. What is significant, of course, is the extraordinary degree of preservation for this '57-S. Uncirculated examples of this issue have been recognized and highly sought after since one was offered in an Elmer Sears fixed price list a century ago, followed by one in an Elder sale from 1914 where the coin was described as 'excessively rare.'

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/26/2015

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

1857 S $3 MS
Base $ 680 810 950 1300 2550 5450 5650 9000 14000 25500 48000 - - - - - - - -
$ 2900 - 6350 10500 16500 - - - - - - - -

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: 194
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 62

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/20/1999 NGC VF 20   Teletrade Auction 1212, 1212/Lot# 1782 $659.38
6/26/2008 NGC AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2008 June West Palm Beach, FL (Summer FUN) Signature Coin Auction #1110, 1110/Lot# 1914 $5,175.00
9/28/2009 NGC XF 40   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 414, 420/Lot# 1052 $2,300.00
9/4/2011 NGC Details XF Details  Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 1975 $833.75
5/30/2012 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2012 May 30- June 3 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(3), 1171/Lot# 4932 $6,612.50
2/22/2013 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 8060 $724.98
4/24/2013 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Heritage Auctions 2013 April 24 - 28 CSNS US Coin Signature Auction - Chicago Session(7), 1184/Lot# 5648 $1,351.25
6/4/2014 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Heritage Auctions 2014 June 4 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(7), 1206/Lot# 9575 $646.25
9/7/2014 NGC G 4   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 213430 $750.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1857 S $3 MS
1857 S $3 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 61
Points: 7487
Owner: South Texas Collection
Grade: XF 40
Points: 2781
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
View the Registry Image Gallery

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