From the NGC Archives: 1861 Silver Three-Cent Piece

This month’s feature, sometimes called a trime, is a standout rarity. Read on for the full story of this beautiful specimen.

The diminutive silver three-cent piece, sometimes called a trime, was an important coin in the years preceding America’s Civil War. Millions were minted, and they circulated throughout the eastern half of the nation. Though ultimately replaced by a copper-nickel coin in 1865, trimes were produced as late as 1873.

The Philadelphia Mint overestimated the demand for proof three-cent pieces in 1861, striking some 1,000 examples. These were delivered by the chief coiner with the silver proof sets on April 1, which proved to be an appropriate date, as more than 600 remained unsold and were melted. Gems are in very short supply today, making this coin a standout rarity in such condition. With the exception of a few stars, this beautiful specimen is fully struck throughout. Its brilliant and reflective surfaces are awash in sumptuous toning of gold, magenta and gunmetal blue.

Are you interested in Three-Cent Pieces? Click here to visit the NGC Coin Encyclopedia and read more.

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