Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 500
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5.0150g
AGW: 0.1451oz
Melt Value: $216.42 (10/19/2019)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
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1881 $3 MS obverse 1881 $3 MS reverse
Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions (HA.com)
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Description & Analysis

The 1881-P is one of the scarcest $3 gold issues in the entire series. With most production at the Philadelphia Mint placed towards silver dollar production that year, only a mere 500 mint state and 54 proof $3 gold pieces were struck at the facility.

Most mint state examples seen today tend to be in the AU58-MS61 range, adding to its rarity in the upper mint state grades. NGC has a total of just over a hundred business strike examples and 27 proofs. (11/2016)

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.

1881 $3 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - 3325 5625 8125 8450 9000 12000 14500 15400 16900 18200 36500 60500 91000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - 15750 - - - - 99500 - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 107
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 64

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.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 10/8/2019 1881 $3 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----112561536120883------106
-----------------------
------------1---------1
-----------------------
Total----112561536121883------107
 ----1 %1 %2 %5 %6 %14 %34 %1 %20 %7 %7 %3 %------ 
1881 $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
5/23/2004 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 1886, 1886/Lot# 1668 $4,290.00
8/30/2013 NGC MS 60   Stack's Bowers The September 2013 Philadelphia Auction, 195/Lot# 3391 $6,580.00
9/25/2013 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1189/Lot# 6745 $12,925.00
1/26/2014 PCGS Genuine AU   Goldberg January 26-28, 2014 January Pre-Long Beach Sale 17.5% BP, 78/Lot# 1744 $2,937.50
2/3/2014 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(4), 1202/Lot# 5346 $8,225.00
3/2/2014 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/02/2014, 182/Lot# 175583 $3,602.50
9/5/2019 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2019 September 5 - 8 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1299/Lot# 4892 $7,800.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1881 $3 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base333774108112841450160017941913207621782323264834743823478363249478119063041448884
33260876114813391500166418331967211022262431292335904143529673751028718075365700
000000150016641833196721102226243129233590414352967375102871807500
000000155017291873202121442274253931983706446358108426110962424400
1881 $3 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base12581340142615151609223326573009317632813431352538524141449953676820805810617136471787423854
1285136814551546181723742774306432113331346236343948426047885851723289111162715056198670
000000277430643211333134623634394842604788585172328911116271505600
000000289131203246338134933743404443795077633576459764126371646500
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 61
Points: 3852
Owner: foresthamilton@universalcoin.com
 
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