Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
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: $164.94 (10/5/2015)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1873 CLOSED 3 $3 MS obverse 1873 CLOSED 3 $3 MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The 1873 is a seldom-found key date in the three dollar gold series. Most pieces encountered are in XF or AU grade. Mint State coins are infrequently offered. Both proofs and business strikes are found in the Closed 3 and Open 3 varieties, with most circulation strikes Closed 3s and most proofs Open 3s. No reliable mintage figures exist. Mint records enumerate 25 proof coins, with no mention of business strikes at all. This has led to speculation over whether some coins might be restrikes. Bowers' three dollar gold reference conjectures that 600 to 900 Closed 3 business strikes were issued, probably early in the year, with the Open 3 issues made later in 1873. Others believe the Open 3s were made at a later date. The legendary B. Max Mehl had earlier commented: 'According to Mint records, only 25 pieces were struck. This, however, I do not believe is correct as a larger number was undoubtedly struck. However, it is of great rarity.'

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/1/2015

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1873 CLOSED 3 $3 MS
Base $ - 2900 3600 4700 9250 14600 16500 21000 24000 36000 44500 69000 105000 - - - - - -
$ - - - 22500 26500 - - - - - - - -

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: 51
Low Grade: 50
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 63

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
10/25/2000 NGC MS 61   Teletrade Auction 1370, 1370/Lot# 1534 $18,900.00
2/11/2007 NGC AU 53   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 2226 $13,800.00
1/6/2011 NGC Details AU Details  David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 547, 554/Lot# 5068 $4,715.00
6/14/2011 NGC AU 50   Stack's Bowers The June 2011 Baltimore Auction, 92/Lot# 9395 $5,750.00
9/4/2011 NGC Details VF Details  Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 1998 $2,127.50
11/7/2011 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions 2011 November 7-9 US Coins Signature Auction - Beverly Hills Session(3), 1161/Lot# 4262 $2,990.00
9/6/2012 PCGS XF 40   Heritage Auctions 2012 September 6-9 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(3), 1174/Lot# 4881 $9,400.00
5/25/2014 PCGS AU 58   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/25/2014, 183/Lot# 195133 $17,930.00
7/10/2014 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions Weekly World and Ancient Coin Auction Session(1), 231429/Lot# 61271 $158.63

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1873 CLOSED 3 $3 MS
1873 CLOSED 3 $3 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery

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Related Articles

From the NGC Archives: 1873 Three Dollar Piece

6/14/2011  — Though there were banknotes of this denomination circulating before the Civil War, the three-dollar gold coin never really caught on.
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