Description and Analysis
Three Dollar Gold
1880 $3 MS
Description & Analysis
In 1880, the Philadelphia Mint was busy pumping out 12.6 million Morgan silver dollars, most of which ended up sitting in government vaults. Due to this huge silver dollar mintage, the production of other denominations suffered greatly. For example, only a mere 1000 business strike and 36 proof $3 gold pieces were struck that year.
Today, it is believed that perhaps half of the mint state coins have survived, along with maybe half of the proofs. The business strike coins tend to be in the lower to mid range of mint state, from MS61-MS64. Gem examples are quite rare. Proofs on the other hand, average just under gem and most have a cameo finish. A survival rate of 50% or so seems to be a reasonable assumption for the proofs.