Coin Specifications

Category: Three Dollar Gold (1854-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 291
Catalog: KM-84
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5.015g
AGW: 0.1451oz
Melt Value: $176.21 (5/31/2016)
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1888 $3 PF obverse 1888 $3 PF reverse


Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions (HA.com)
  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

With a proof mintage of 291 pieces, this date is widely known as being the most plentiful date of the type, quite possibly having been sold in extra numbers to eastern U.S. business moguls of the Gilded Age, just ending at the same time as the production of the gorgeous Indian threes were also drawing to a close. It is likely that well-heeled collectors of the day knew that this curious denomination would soon cease to be produced, which possibly accounts for the extra proofs made in 1888 (although Breen comments, as have many others, that the end of the three dollar gold production, in its commercial version, coincided with the end of the three cent postage stamp, for which one of these coins was a handy way to purchase a hundred such stamps). While 'available,' the proofs of this year are far from common, attested to by the fairly modest numbers of those certified by all grading services. Hard times and a devastating world war were soon coming to America: a sizable percentage of those proofs made in 1888 went into hiding, were melted, or were simply spent through the early 1930s. This cataloger (BL) has personal knowledge of one of these being found in a bank's change in the mid-1920s. The result of this passage of time was that few truly choice examples exist today--a fraction of those minted.

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: 10/5/2015

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

1888 $3 PF
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - 5150 8050 9500 12500 18000 33000 50000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1888 $3 PF Cameo
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 10000 14500 19850 39000 56900 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 20650 - - - -
1888 $3 PF Ultra Cameo
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 10500 - - 22500 - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 94
Low Grade: 55
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
7/25/1998 NGC PF 65   Teletrade Auction 1070, 1070/Lot# 1293 $19,950.00
11/7/2003 PCGS PF 63   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2003 November Signature Sale #334, 334/Lot# 7441 $8,625.00
5/31/2004 NGC PF 65   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 2481 $20,700.00
1/9/2013 PCGS PF 65   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(4), 1181/Lot# 5849 $32,900.00
11/1/2013 NGC PF 66   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2013 November 1 - 3 US Coin Signature Auction - New York Session(2), 1191/Lot# 3839 $38,187.50
1/8/2014 NGC PF 64   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(5), 1201/Lot# 6577 $12,337.50
3/27/2014 NGC PF 66   Cameo Stack's Bowers March 2014 Baltimore Auction, 6008/Lot# 4079 $30,550.00
1/29/2015 PCGS PF 65   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 29 - February 1 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(1), 1217/Lot# 3261 $29,375.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1888 $3 PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111111928275428022834288029103149414146945158650970779588118181514819784
111116432203277028122849289029893479432548485608669879141033112928166930
000000220327702812284928902989347943254848560866987914103311292800
000000247827862823286429003069381045095003605868878751110741403800
1888 $3 PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111112124300930603094314431763431448550715563698975861022612561160401
111117082419302630713110315432613782468052356038718884661100413720160400
000000241930263071311031543261378246805235603871888466110041372000
000000271430433082312731653346413348755399651373879346117821488000
1888 $3 PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111112464344735033541359536313912507157116248779884451129413802175241
111118222791346535153559360737244298528458906764801393941213015042175240
000000279134653515355936073724429852845890676480139394121301504200
0000003119348435283577361938184684549760697281822910344129661628300
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