Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 138,618
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5.0150g
AGW: 0.1451oz
Melt Value: $179.34 (2/19/2017)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
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1854 $3 MS obverse 1854 $3 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

February 21, 1853, was an important date in the history of American numismatics. Congress enacted legislation to reduce the weight of minor silver coinage, also authorizing the issuance of three dollar gold pieces. Section 7 of the Mint Act of that date read: 'And be it further enacted, that from time to time there shall be struck and coined at the Mint of the United States, and the branches thereof, conformably in all respects to law, and conformably in all respects to the standard of gold coins now established by law, a coin of gold of the value of three dollars, or units, and all the provisions of an act entitled 'An act to authorize the coinage of gold dollars and double eagles,' approved March third, eighteen hundred and forty nine, shall be applied to the coin herein authorized, so far as the same may be applicable, but the devices and shape of the three dollar piece shall be fixed by Secretary of the Treasury.'

The obverse features an Indian princess facing left, wearing a feathered headdress with a beaded band inscribed LIBERTY. Around is the statutory legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The reverse has an agricultural or cereal wreath enclosing the date and denomination. The letters in the denomination DOLLARS are smaller and shorter than the date digits, the only year where that occurred (and technically making this a one-year design subtype). James B. Longacre duplicated the design for this coinage issue, with the appropriate denomination change, for the new type of gold dollar.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/1/2015

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

1854 $3 MS
Base $ 400 515 580 890 1150 1325 1425 1550 1875 2550 3000 3850 4900 7900 18000 32000 92500 185000 - -
$ 1200 - 1500 1650 2050 - 3450 4350 5750 10000 - - - -

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Total Graded: 4103
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/19/2017 XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2017 February 16 - 19 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1252/Lot# 8101

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/3/1995 PCGS MS 61   Heritage Auctions February 1995 Long Beach Bullet Sale #129, 129/Lot# 710 $1,595.00
9/14/2008 PCGS MS 62   Goldberg September 14-16, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 48/Lot# 1424 $4,887.50
3/29/2009 NGC MS 61   Teletrade Auction 2672, 2672/Lot# 2874 $2,472.50
8/12/2010 NGC AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 505, 512/Lot# 7476 $1,408.75
2/28/2012 PCGS AU 55   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 7406 $1,150.00
6/3/2013 PCGS MS 64   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20971/Lot# 2300 $8,775.00
10/12/2014 PCGS   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 193043 $875.00
8/18/2015 NGC AU 55   Stack's Bowers 2015 Chicago ANA, 6104/Lot# 42721 $1,116.25
10/29/2015 NGC AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2015 October 29 - November 1 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(3), 1225/Lot# 5070 $881.25
10/31/2016 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2016 October 31 - November 2 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(4), 1241/Lot# 8014 $881.25

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1854 $3 MS
1854 $3 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 2699
Owner: Robert Baker Trust
Grade: MS 61
Points: 2268
Owner: hamitchell
View the Registry Image Gallery

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