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: $220.38 (9/21/2019)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
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1863 $3 MS obverse 1863 $3 MS reverse
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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.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/21/2019

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

1863 $3 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 655 675 970 1330 2825 4000 5025 5300 6550 8450 9000 11200 13350 18200 39500 50000 93000 165000 - -
$ - - - 5700 - - - - - - - 55000 - 275000

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 251
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 68

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, 68 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 9/17/2019 1863 $3 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----5620932497651413365331--250
-----------------1-1--2
---------1------------1
-----------------------
Total----5620932507651413365432--253
 ----2 %2 %8 %4 %13 %20 %30 %2 %6 %5 %1 %2 %2 %2 %1 %1 %-- 
1863 $3 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------------1---------1
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total------------1---------1
 ------------100 %--------- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/23/2001 PCGS AU 55   Teletrade Auction 1429, 1429/Lot# 1911 $1,477.00
11/21/2002 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2002 November Santa Clara Signature Sale #304, 304/Lot# 7560 $5,175.00
4/10/2011 NGC AU 58   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/10/2011, 110/Lot# 6682 $4,240.83
8/15/2011 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 7639 $21,850.00
9/4/2011 NGC MS 60   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19251/Lot# 1153 $5,499.00
9/4/2011 PCGS AU 53   Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 1986 $3,335.00
2/2/2012 NGC MS 60   Heritage Auctions 2012 February 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(3), 1167/Lot# 4722 $6,325.00
6/4/2014 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2014 June 4 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(5), 1206/Lot# 5666 $2,585.00
7/6/2017 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2017 July 6 - 9 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN Session(1), 1257/Lot# 3207 $8,225.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1863 $3 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base333774108112841450160017941913207621782323264834743823478363249478119063041448884
33260876114813391500166418331967211022262431292335904143529673751028718075365700
000000150016641833196721102226243129233590414352967375102871807500
000000155017291873202121442274253931983706446358108426110962424400
1863 $3 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base92699110601131120614501646182121412327257627272910336539844841624868209084128961744524035
947101410831156128715151704192722032410262627883061357142695310643875741035414412196410
000000170419272203241026262788306135714269531064387574103541441200
000000176220342265249326762849321337774555577966298329116251592800
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 64
Points: 4841
Owner: South Texas Collection
 
Grade: MS 62
Points: 3365
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
 
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