Coin Specifications

Category: Nickel Three Cents (1865-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,077,000
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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1881 3CN MS obverse 1881 3CN MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

No satisfactory explanation has been offered that would account for the huge spike in mintage for this coin in 1881. It posted such low numbers in the years preceding and following that there seems little reason to have produced so many.

Whatever the story, 1881 three-cent pieces are very common worn. Mint State examples are fairly plentiful, though gems are only slightly more common than for the low-mintage dates. Most pieces are reasonably well made, and the large numbers produced resulted in most Mint State survivors having frosty luster rather than the semi-prooflike smoothness typical of low-mintage coins.

Several repunched dates are known for 1881, and the best of these are attributed 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.

1881 3CN MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 15.00 20.00 22.00 28.00 43.00 65.00 70.00 75.00 90.00 120 135 165 215 300 650 1250 4800 - - -
$ 50.00 - - - 100.00 - 145 175 235 400 800 1800 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 723
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 60
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: 5/4/2021 1881 3CN MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--5448242089301052251149317050151---723
------------------2---2
---------------1-2----3
-----------------------
Total--5448242089301052251149317150173---728
 --1%1%7%3%3%1%1%4%14%0%3%16%13%23%7%2%0%--- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1881 3CN MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base12162437506711115519021624827232042350257512391886275445651073018662
13182841558112516619822625628835444952679614542175335766201337419595
000000125166198226256288354449526796145421753357662000
0000001401782072372643043884755501017167024643961867500
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 64
Points: 575
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
 
Grade: AU 58
Points: 248
Owner: jalistair
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.