Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 5,000
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5.0150g
AGW: 0.1451oz
Melt Value: $182.49 (2/26/2017)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
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1863 $3 MS obverse 1863 $3 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

There is something about the 1863 three dollar gold piece that has led to the preservation of several remarkable examples. Only 5,000 circulation strikes were made, and the date is rare overall. Q. David Bowers and Doug Winter offer these words in their series reference:

{blockquote}'As the low mintage would indicate, the $3 gold piece is scarce in any grade and rare in higher levels. However, perhaps as many as several dozen Mint State coins exist, among which are some notable germs. Such showpieces are often candidates for extensive descriptions in auction catalogs and deservedly so. Among $3 coins dated dated in the 1860s, gems of 1863, while rare in an absolute sense, appear more often than do those of any other year. Most 1863 threes have very good eye appeal ... .

'The true elusive nature of the 1863 is often overlooked, as low mintages also occur for most $3 coins of the 1880s, and those appear on the market with frequency. However, few 1863 coins were deliberately saved, and across the board they are quite rare.'{/blockquote}

Aside from the obvious Civil War explanation, there is another likely reason that 1863 threes in high grade appear to have been saved in some small quantity: The 1863 quarter eagles were proof-only issues, and it may be that some people desirous of a nice gold coin from the year simply opted for the more-available three dollar denomination.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/30/2015

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

1863 $3 MS
Base $ 540 600 700 1100 2450 3550 4550 5700 6750 7250 9500 12650 15850 21450 38150 51500 117500 275000 - -
$ - - 4800 6250 - - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 242
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/6/1998 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 1998 June Long Beach Sale #187, 187/Lot# 6319 $49,450.00
4/23/2001 PCGS AU 55   Teletrade Auction 1429, 1429/Lot# 1911 $1,477.00
9/10/2006 PCGS AU 55   Goldberg September 10-13, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 37/Lot# 1874 $3,565.00
4/10/2011 NGC AU 58   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/10/2011, 110/Lot# 6682 $4,240.83
9/4/2011 NGC MS 60   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19251/Lot# 1153 $5,499.00
5/30/2012 NGC AU 50   Stack's Bowers The June 2012 Baltimore Auction, 137/Lot# 4257 $1,175.00
6/5/2013 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2013 June 5 - 9 US Coin Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(3), 1186/Lot# 4740 $4,553.13
2/27/2014 NGC AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(4), 1203/Lot# 5248 $3,818.75
3/21/2014 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions 2014 March 21 & 23 US Coins Signature Auction - San Francisco Session(2), 1198/Lot# 10594 $1,410.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1863 $3 MS
1863 $3 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 64
Points: 4841
Owner: South Texas Collection
Grade: MS 62
Points: 3365
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
View the Registry Image Gallery

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