Coin Specifications

Category: Three Cent Nickels (1865-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 11,382,000
Catalog: KM-95
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 1.94g
Diameter: 17.9mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1865 3CN MS obverse 1865 3CN MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

This coin debuted in 1865 as a replacement for the despised three-cent fractional currency notes, themselves replacements for the hoarded silver three-cent pieces. Due to the urgency of retiring the notes, minting of this coin was very heavy before year's end. 1865 is a common date in all grades short of gem Mint State.

The copper-nickel alloy was hard on dies, with the result that a great many 1865 pieces are seen with multiple die-clash impressions, die cracks and small cuds. The challenge to the collector will be to find an example which is free of such distractions. The piece illustrated is more fully struck than most, but it reveals an inverted outline of Liberty on its reverse from die clashing.

With so many dies need for such a large production, both repunched dates and doubled-dies are numerous and highly collectable. The best of these are recognized by NGC under its VarietyPlus Service.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/30/2015

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

1865 3CN MS
Base $ 15.00 18.50 22.00 30.00 43.00 60.00 68.00 75.00 90.00 105 120 140 170 270 625 1250 13000 - - -
$ 50.00 - - 83.00 100.00 - - 155 200 400 750 6750 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 2089
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
8/26/1996 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 0870, 870/Lot# 1158 $185.30
8/28/1996 NGC MS 62   Teletrade Auction 0871, 871/Lot# 1165 $87.20
11/25/2003 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #23121, 23121/Lot# 13165 $77.05
1/25/2004 PCGS MS 63   Goldberg January 25-28, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 23/Lot# 1495 $126.50
6/9/2013 PCGS AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 755, 764/Lot# 368 $60.00
12/29/2013 PCGS VF 30   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/29/2013, 170/Lot# 161255 $21.00
7/18/2014 NGC AU 58   Stack's Bowers IAuction 3491, 6042/Lot# 21053 $68.15
11/9/2015 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers November 2015 Baltimore, 6110/Lot# 24778 $188.00

NGC Registry

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