Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 50,555
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5.0150g
AGW: 0.1451oz
Melt Value: $185.86 (10/21/2017)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
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1855 $3 MS obverse 1855 $3 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

As with other odd denominations of the 19th century, the three dollar gold piece saw its production fall dramatically from the first year to the second. In an article for the August 29, 2006 edition of Numismatic News, R.W. Julian describes the contrast between the mintages of 1854 and 1855: 'Because of [the denomination's] novelty, there was a reasonable coinage of the new pieces at Philadelphia in 1854, nearly 139,000 pieces, but the demand and mintage would start to slip in 1855 and continue to do so.'

Julian continues by noting that 'While there was never any great demand for the $3 gold piece, there was still enough gold deposited at the Philadelphia Mint in 1855' for another substantial issue, its mintage most often listed as 50,555 business strikes. While that figure is enough to qualify the 1855 as a higher-mintage issue in the context of the denomination, the 1855 was not saved in quantity the way the 1854 was. As a result, while the 1855 three dollar gold piece is an accepted type issue in circulated and the lowest Mint State grades, by the Select level, it is distinctly scarcer than the 1854, 1874, or 1878, the most common type issues.

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


Note: This coin is commonly targeted by counterfeiters. Learn more here.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/12/2017

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

1855 $3 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 535 585 750 870 1100 1265 1375 1475 1750 2500 2750 3900 5250 12300 38250 46500 - - - -
$ - - - - 1900 - 3000 4500 8000 16000 40000 - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1266
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/4/2017 AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2017 November 2 - 4 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(5), 1261/Lot# 20323


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/27/2005 NGC MS 61   David Lawrence Rare Coins Auction 43: The Cook Family Collection, 47/Lot# 1356 $3,047.50
3/6/2008 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2008 March Phoenix, AZ (ANA) Signature Auction #1102, 1102/Lot# 1431 $1,150.00
11/12/2008 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 2611, 2611/Lot# 2361 $1,265.00
5/29/2011 PCGS MS 62   Goldberg May 29 - June 1, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction of US, World Coins and Currency, 63/Lot# 1478 $2,990.00
10/12/2014 PCGS   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 173666 $870.00
  NGC AU 55   Bonhams $1,404.00
11/10/2015 PCGS   Stack's Bowers November 2015 Baltimore, 6110/Lot# 26765 $646.25
1/6/2016 NGC MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2016 January 6 - 11 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Tampa Session(6), 1231/Lot# 6409 $5,170.00
4/4/2017 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2017 April 4 - 6 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(5), 1253/Lot# 18486 $793.13


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1855 $3 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base333774108112841450160017941913207621782323264834743823478363249478119063041448884
33260876114813391500166418331967211022262431292335904143529673751028718075365700
000000150016641833196721102226243129233590414352967375102871807500
000000155017291873202121442274253931983706446358108426110962424400
1855 $3 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base85892098510531124137515071629182019362097219723683057386848767198796011869164962333233563
87894110071076120714191547169218581989213022542597332742045650745292631341118774267420
000000154716921858198921302254259733274204565074529263134111877400
0000001588175618972043216323112827359745406424770610566149532105300
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 1936
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
 
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