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: $171.93 (4/1/2015)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1888 $3 MS obverse 1888 $3 MS reverse

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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The 1888 is one of many issues within the three dollar series with enticingly low mintages. Only 5,000 pieces were struck, which, if put into perspective, is only 5% of the mintage of the 1893-S dollar. It is true that the 1888 circulated little, since survivors are more often found in Mint State than in worn condition. It is also true that the majority of the issue has likely been melted, since the combined NGC and PCGS population is less than 1,000 pieces, which undoubtedly includes a large number of resubmissions over the past twenty years. The MS62 to MS64 grades account for a sizeable portion of Uncirculated 1888 examples. Gems are scarce, and Premium Gems are rare. Speculators often gravitate toward the 1888 because of its low mintage, which is only about 6% of the 1878 type coin. Yet the 1888 trades for only a small premium above type prices. Shrewd gold type collectors often select the 1888, since it provides greater value than the 'common' 1878.

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.

1888 $3 MS
Base $ 400 515 580 910 1230 1230 1800 2000 2175 3100 3550 4000 4500 5400 7800 15250 26500 85000 - - -
$ 1350 - - 2400 3400 - - - - 9000 - 43000 - -

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.

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 502
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/13/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Teletrade Auction 2870, 2870/Lot# 2875 $862.50
12/8/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Bonhams Coins and Banknotes, 18404/Lot# 2323 $1,638.00
3/17/2011 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2011 March Sacramento Signature ANA US Coin Auction Session(3), 1153/Lot# 4726 $25,300.00
3/31/2011 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The March 2011 Baltimore Auction, 83/Lot# 6489 $13,800.00
9/4/2011 PCGS MS 61   Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 2018 $3,565.00
11/6/2011 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131146/Lot# 25407 $18,400.00
1/5/2014 PCGS MS 63   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 01/05/2014, 176/Lot# 162416 $5,280.00
6/29/2014 NCS   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/29/2014, 187/Lot# 155604 $825.00
11/2/2014 PCGS AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10617 $2,400.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1888 $3 MS
1888 $3 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 65
Points: 4591
Owner: The Artist's Collection
Grade: MS 62
Points: 2699
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
View the Registry Image Gallery

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