Coin Specifications

Category: Three Cent Nickels (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
Link to this coin

1870 3CN MS obverse 1870 3CN MS reverse

Expand All    Collapse All


Click on a coin to see VarietyPlus details.

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.


Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation


Select Grade

*To view the Census details for this coin, please sign in or sign up.

Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/31/2015

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

1870 3CN MS
Base $ 16.50 20.00 23.00 29.00 46.00 70.00 77.00 82.00 110 135 150 170 215 310 780 2350 9750 - - -
$ 51.00 - - 90.00 120 - - 188 240 350 950 4750 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 432
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
12/4/2006 NGC MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2006 December On Line Session #421, 421/Lot# 7266 $149.50
9/23/2007 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg September 23-26, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 42/Lot# 1151 $253.00
11/13/2008 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 300, 306/Lot# 5168 $138.00
2/8/2009 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 2650, 2650/Lot# 1226 $287.50
11/9/2010 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers The November 2010 Baltimore Online Session, 69/Lot# 10369 $203.55
9/29/2013 PCGS VG 8   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/29/2013, 94/Lot# 141027 $15.00
3/2/2014 NGC MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/02/2014, 182/Lot# 144824 $506.00
9/7/2014 PCGS MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 217862 $1,000.00
3/1/2015 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131510/Lot# 23063 $223.25
2/7/2016 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131607/Lot# 25371 $188.00

Related Articles

There are no related articles for this coin.

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer