Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 5,000
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: $155.43 (11/26/2015)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1863 $3 MS obverse 1863 $3 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

There is something about the 1863 three dollar gold piece that has led to the preservation of several remarkable examples. Only 5,000 circulation strikes were made, and the date is rare overall. Q. David Bowers and Doug Winter offer these words in their series reference:

{blockquote}'As the low mintage would indicate, the $3 gold piece is scarce in any grade and rare in higher levels. However, perhaps as many as several dozen Mint State coins exist, among which are some notable germs. Such showpieces are often candidates for extensive descriptions in auction catalogs and deservedly so. Among $3 coins dated dated in the 1860s, gems of 1863, while rare in an absolute sense, appear more often than do those of any other year. Most 1863 threes have very good eye appeal ... .

'The true elusive nature of the 1863 is often overlooked, as low mintages also occur for most $3 coins of the 1880s, and those appear on the market with frequency. However, few 1863 coins were deliberately saved, and across the board they are quite rare.'{/blockquote}

Aside from the obvious Civil War explanation, there is another likely reason that 1863 threes in high grade appear to have been saved in some small quantity: The 1863 quarter eagles were proof-only issues, and it may be that some people desirous of a nice gold coin from the year simply opted for the more-available three dollar denomination.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/30/2015

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

1863 $3 MS
Base $ 540 600 700 1100 2450 3550 4550 5700 6750 9500 12650 15850 21450 38150 51500 117500 275000 - -
$ - - 4800 6250 - - - - - - - - -

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Total Graded: 240
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
12/6/2015 MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(1), 1227/Lot# 3317

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/5/2007 NGC AU 55   Teletrade Auction 2445, 2445/Lot# 1873 $3,248.00
12/8/2010 PCGS AU 53   Bonhams Coins and Banknotes, 18404/Lot# 2321 $3,510.00
4/10/2011 NGC AU 58   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/10/2011, 110/Lot# 6682 $4,240.83
8/15/2011 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 7639 $21,850.00
9/4/2011 PCGS AU 53   Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 1986 $3,335.00
3/8/2012 NGC AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2012 March 8-9 US Coin Signature Auction - New York Session(2), 1168/Lot# 4009 $3,450.00
11/29/2012 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2012 November 29 - December 2 US Coin Signature Auction - Houston Session(3), 1177/Lot# 4885 $3,407.50
12/5/2013 PCGS Genuine AU   Heritage Auctions 2013 December 5 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1192/Lot# 4979 $1,763.68
11/14/2014 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2014 November 14 - 15 Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection Part V US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1215/Lot# 3253 $7,637.50
6/4/2015 PCGS Genuine AU   Heritage Auctions 2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1221/Lot# 5243 $1,880.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1863 $3 MS
1863 $3 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 64
Points: 4841
Owner: South Texas Collection
Grade: MS 62
Points: 3365
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
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