Coin Specifications

Category: Three Cent Silvers (1851-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 671,000
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 0.7500g
ASW: 0.0217oz
Melt Value: $0.38 (9/19/2017)
Diameter: 14mm
Edge: Plain
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1854 3CS MS obverse 1854 3CS MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

During 1853 the weight of the fractional silver coins from half dime through half dollar had been reduced sufficiently to permit their free circulation once again. The trime was reduced in weight just slightly, while its fineness was raised to .900 to be in conformance with the other fractional silvers. This gave it a slightly higher intrinsic value, but that didn't really matter, as the need for this coin really passed with the return to circulation of the traditional silver denominations.

This redundancy is reflected in the plummeting mintage figure of the trime from 1853 to 1854. It really could have been eliminated altogether, but government inertia kept it going another 20 years.

To mark the change in standard, the silver trime was revised with outlines to the star and the addition of an olive branch above the value and a bundle of arrows below it.

This issue is moderately scarce in all Mint State grades and genuinely rare at the gem level. It is also under price pressure from type collectors seeking an example of the Type 2 design.

A very distinct repunched date is known for 1854, and this is among the few trime varieties sought by non-specialists.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/26/2015

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

1854 3CS MS
Base $ 27.00 45.00 50.00 65.00 140 230 250 270 300 345 425 550 850 1400 2850 10500 21000 - - -
$ 175 - 260 280 320 - 480 600 1050 1580 3500 - - -

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Total Graded: 370
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
1/28/1998 NGC XF 40   Teletrade Auction 1019, 1019/Lot# 1148 $81.75
5/27/2007 NGC AU 50   Goldberg May 27-30, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 41/Lot# 276 $264.50
8/14/2007 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2007 August Milwaukee, WI Final Session #445, 445/Lot# 7330 $402.50
12/15/2013 PCGS Genuine Genuine   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/15/2013, 105/Lot# 148450 $73.70
4/14/2014 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3477, 6026/Lot# 20084 $1,380.63
7/6/2014 PCGS XF 40   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 811, 820/Lot# 567 $135.00
6/4/2015 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1221/Lot# 3801 $3,290.00

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