From the NGC Archives: 1873 Three Dollar Piece

Though there were banknotes of this denomination circulating before the Civil War, the three-dollar gold coin never really caught on.

Mintages were ridiculously low in all but a few of the 36 years in which this issue was produced. The three-dollar pieces of 1873 are among the great rarities in American numismatics. The Open 3 examples are known to have comprised the 25 proofs delivered on February 18.

This specimen with a Closed 3, however, remains a mystery. Walter Breen speculated that perhaps a few hundred three-dollar pieces were coined for circulation in January bearing this date logotype. Extremely rare today, most survivors are well worn. This choice and nearly mint state specimen is well struck and quite prooflike.

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