Coin Specifications

Category: Nickel Three Cents (1865-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 36,501
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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1888 3CN MS obverse 1888 3CN MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Why the mintage of this coin type rose in 1888 is a mystery, but the number made was still too small to have much impact in circulation. Indeed, the majority of survivors are Mint State or nearly so. A significant number of very high grade pieces are known, which suggests that collectors of the time set these pieces aside with knowledge that the series was to be discontinued.

Most 1888 three-cent pieces were well made, with good luster and only a touch of weakness on Liberty's lower curls.

A couple of repunched date varieties are known, but these are too minor to warrant interest.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/22/2019

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

1888 3CN MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 50.90 58.00 72.80 95.70 130 165 190 195 235 295 305 325 430 525 750 1300 2450 19500 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - 6500 -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 340
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 67

The chart showing 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: 9/10/2019 1888 3CN MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----1618251382127-4221861603314---340
-----------------------
---------------1-3----4
-----------------------
Total----1618251382127-4221862603614---344
 ----5 %5 %7 %4 %2 %6 %8 %-1 %6 %5 %18 %17 %10 %4 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/16/2000 NGC MS 65   Teletrade Auction 1272, 1272/Lot# 1125 $517.75
9/10/2006 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg September 10-13, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 37/Lot# 1252 $1,006.25
12/1/2013 PCGS XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 780, 789/Lot# 277 $130.00
9/7/2014 PCGS MS 67   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 217863 $2,000.00
10/30/2014 PCGS MS 67   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 4037 $2,115.00
7/18/2018 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131830/Lot# 27131 $144.00
7/24/2019 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions Tuesday & Wednesday US Coins Weekly Online Auction Session(1), 131931/Lot# 29070 $312.00


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