Coin Specifications

Category: Nickel Three Cents (1865-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,335,000
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 1.9400g
Diameter: 17.9mm
Edge: Plain
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1870 3CN MS obverse 1870 3CN MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Minting of this coin type fell a little further in 1870, as these coins were struck only as needed to replace those redeemed at banks and Sub-Treasuries. There was as yet no authorization to re-issue those coins still fit for circulation, but this would change in 1871.

The typical 1870 three-cent piece is reasonably well struck, with only Liberty's lowest curls and the Roman III being subject to weak spots. Gems are rare.

The example illustrated shows the streaky toning so common to copper-nickel coins from incomplete mixing of the alloy. Areas of copper concentration get drawn out in the planchet rolling process, and these then tone more rapidly than the properly blended areas.

Several varieties are noted for this date, and the better ones are recognized by NGC under its VarietyPlus Service.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/8/2019

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

1870 3CN MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 16.50 20.00 23.00 30.00 48.00 70.00 77.00 85.00 110 135 150 185 215 310 780 2350 9750 - - -
$ 51.00 - - 90.00 120 - - 190 240 350 950 4750 - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 453
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 67

The chart showing VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 9/17/2019 1870 3CN MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--2614763131245310528713941112---453
------------------1---1
---------------4------4
-----------------------
Total--2614763131245310528714341113---458
 --0 %1 %3 %2 %1 %1 %3 %3 %10 %1 %2 %11 %19 %31 %9 %2 %1 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/23/2005 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2005 February Long Beach Signature Sale #366, 366/Lot# 4006 $6,468.75
6/27/2005 NGC MS 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Auction 43: The Cook Family Collection, 47/Lot# 323 $161.00
9/23/2007 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg September 23-26, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 42/Lot# 1151 $253.00
5/22/2011 PCGS MS 63   Teletrade Auction 3070, 3070/Lot# 1236 $149.50
11/7/2011 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2011 November 7-9 US Coins Signature Auction - Beverly Hills Session(4), 1161/Lot# 7344 $195.50
9/29/2013 PCGS VG 8   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/29/2013, 94/Lot# 141027 $15.00
7/11/2014 NGC Details UNC Details  Stack's Bowers August 2014 Chicago ANA, 6014/Lot# 5414 $70.00
10/31/2016 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2016 October 31 - November 2 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(4), 1241/Lot# 7184 $446.50


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