Coin Specifications

Category: Three Cent Nickels (1865-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 5,001
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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1887 3CN MS obverse 1887 3CN MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

In a classic example of governmental inertia, the three-cent piece continued to be coined through 1889 until it was finally abolished by law in September of 1890.

The 1887 edition was typical of later dates in having a very small mintage that clearly served no role in commerce. Precious few of the 5,001 pieces struck for circulation have survived, and a disproportionate percentage of these are Mint State.

The specimen illustrated reveals one of the problems that often plagued this denomination: The dies clashed severely, leaving deep impressions of one another that were only partially effaced by aggressive buffing of the die.

There is a very minor overdate variety for the currency strikes, and this is not to be confused with the common but much more obvious proof overdate. The former is so slight that the numismatic community has largely overlooked it.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/30/2015

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

1887 3CN MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 285 325 365 475 600 650 675 715 730 745 765 785 825 1025 1850 2800 19000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - 2300 - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 113
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 66


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Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/18/1998 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1025, 1025/Lot# 1151 $414.20
4/25/2005 NGC MS 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Richmond Sale, Internet-Only Auction, 40/Lot# 231 $500.25
9/10/2006 NGC MS 64   Goldberg September 10-13, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 37/Lot# 65 $575.00
3/18/2012 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/18/2012, 13/Lot# 40902 $704.00
3/21/2013 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2013 March 21 -22 & 24 US Coin Signature Auction - Dallas Session(1), 1183/Lot# 3142 $1,292.50
3/21/2014 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2014 March 21 & 23 US Coins Signature Auction - San Francisco Session(1), 1198/Lot# 10118 $1,997.50
6/3/2014 PCGS AU 53   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 3645 $822.50
2/4/2016 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2016 February 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1232/Lot# 7146 $1,527.50
7/7/2016 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2016 July 7 - 10 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN Session(1), 1237/Lot# 3198 $2,115.00


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