Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Three Cents (1851-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 5,447,400
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.7500
Weight: 0.8000g
ASW: 0.0193oz
Melt Value: $0.34 (10/21/2019)
Diameter: 14mm
Edge: Plain
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1851 3CS MS obverse 1851 3CS MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

This coin debuted at a time when all higher denominations of silver coins were being hoarded due to a imbalance in their intrinsic value relative to gold. It was an emergency issue which, like so many others, lingered long after its utility had passed.

This first year witnessed a very large production, and Mint State survivors are fairly plentiful up to and including the gem level. Only above MS 66 does this coin become rare. Most unworn examples reveal frosty or creamy luster and incomplete strikes.

With so many dies needed, the 1851(P) three-cent piece has numerous die punching varieties, the best of which are recognized by NGC under its VarietyPlus Service.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/20/2019

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

1851 3CS MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 38.00 43.00 50.00 65.00 95.00 150 155 170 180 210 225 250 330 545 950 1510 8750 - - -
$ 115 - 160 175 195 - 235 275 360 610 1100 2700 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1313
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 67

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, 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: 10/8/2019 1851 3CS MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base116204314941218511381442494351787611---1311
-----------------1----1
---------------3243---12
-----------------------
Total116204314941218511381442494381808114---1324
 0 %0 %0 %2 %3 %1 %1 %0 %1 %1 %4 %0 %3 %11 %19 %33 %14 %6 %1 %--- 
1851 3CS MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---------------2------2
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total---------------2------2
 ---------------100 %------ 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/15/2003 NGC MS 64   Goldberg September 15-17, 2003 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 21/Lot# 143 $391.00
6/27/2005 NGC MS 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Auction 43: The Cook Family Collection, 47/Lot# 300 $633.65
2/20/2012 PCGS VF 35   Teletrade Auction 3228, 3228/Lot# 1178 $55.00
6/9/2013 NGC MS 62   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/09/2013, 78/Lot# 119607 $220.00
5/25/2014 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3483, 6032/Lot# 22059 $57.58
6/4/2014 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2014 June 4 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(1), 1206/Lot# 3295 $1,645.00
7/19/2015 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131530/Lot# 27052 $60.00
10/29/2015 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2015 October 29 - November 1 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(2), 1225/Lot# 3896 $1,292.50
10/3/2016 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2016 October 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(2), 1240/Lot# 3529 $1,199.68


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1851 3CS MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base547685941151902983954154264454564845396409301435184736835791914610556
6179881011402263304014184324484655025727361098157224594385690996160
0000003304014184324484655025727361098157224594385690900
0000003624084224384524745206068331266170930715088802700
1851 3CS MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base10211118320123735140948951553957564267472587412001658216148765570883610211
1051351892132753704364985235515976536917759831353182630665107665992940
0000004364985235515976536917759831353182630665107665900
00000046250653156362066370882410911505199339715339774700
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 65
Points: 1658
Owner: Trime Time
 
Grade: MS 65
Points: 1658
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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