1861 $3 MS (PCGS# 7982)

2009 CSNS PN

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1861 $3 MS67 NGC. Though the three dollar gold denomination had already fallen into near-irrelevance by 1861, the year the first shots of the Civil War were fired, the onset of that conflict was the tipping point. As noted by Q. David Bowers and Douglas Winter in their The United States $3 Gold Pieces 1854-1889, 1861 "... was the last year, until 1879, that gold coins were paid out at face value by the Philadelphia Mint. After this time, $3 coins did not circulate at all in the East and Midwest." Bowers and Winter continue, noting that the odd denomination had become the province of "bullion dealers, banks, and exchange offices," which charged high rates to give out gold or silver coinage instead of paper money. The needs of those gold-vendors was not great, particularly for the peculiar three dollar gold piece, and even the paltry mintage of 5,959 pieces for the denomination in 1861 seems positively gargantuan compared to the token output of certain later years. The Garrett and Guth Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins directly references the present example, stating that "Gem examples are exceedingly rare, topped by a single NGC MS-67 coin." This Superb Gem, sole finest in the combined certified population (3/09), shares the best-known characteristics of the issue, such as faint vertical die striations in the fields and strong, inviting luster, and matches them with incredible surface preservation and eye appeal. As with many other pieces in this collection, a great opportunity for the series specialist. From The American Princess Collection of $3 Gold.
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