Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 5,959
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5.0150g
AGW: 0.1451oz
Melt Value: $271.00 (6/13/2021)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
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1861 $3 MS obverse 1861 $3 MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Though the three dollar gold denomination had already fallen into near-irrelevance by 1861, the year the first shots of the Civil War were fired, the onset of that conflict was the tipping point. As noted by Q. David Bowers and Douglas Winter in their The United States $3 Gold Pieces 1854-1889, 1861 '... was the last year, until 1879, that gold coins were paid out at face value by the Philadelphia Mint. After this time, $3 coins did not circulate at all in the East and Midwest.' Bowers and Winter continue, noting that the odd denomination had become the province of 'bullion dealers, banks, and exchange offices,' which charged high rates to give out gold or silver coinage instead of paper money. The needs of those gold-vendors was not great, particularly for the peculiar three dollar gold piece, and even the paltry mintage of 5,959 pieces for the denomination in 1861 seems positively gargantuan compared to the token output of certain later years.

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


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/12/2021

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

1861 $3 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 650 675 975 1350 3000 3500 4350 5250 8475 9250 10300 12600 14100 23000 41000 54500 94000 - - -
$ - - - - 8700 - - - - - - 59000 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 283
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 67

The chart showing VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 6/8/2021 1861 $3 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----9319243266705271834111---283
-----------------------
------------1---------1
-----------------------
Total----9319243266705281834111---284
 ----3%1%7%8%11%23%25%2%10%6%1%1%0%0%0%--- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1861 $3 MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base333774108112841450160017941913207621782323264834743823478363249478119063041448884
332608761148133915001664183319672110222624312923359041435296737510287180753657051328
000000150016641833196721102226243129233590414352967375102871807500
000000155017291873202121442274253931983706446358108426110962424400
1861 $3 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base12941333136316832009300931603238358339024811499252225675593971988929988611928126051356314574
130713431470179223423059318633533689420548715069537357636359777592481056712154129241390015303
0000003186335336894205487150695373576363597775924810567121541292400
0000003212346837964508493251455524585167788352956711247123791324400
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4811
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
 
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4811
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.