1876 $3, DC PR (PCGS# 98040)

Dallas Coin Auction

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1876 $3 PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. The 1876 is somewhat overshadowed by the 1875, which is also a proof-only date. Number games abound when speculating about mintages and numbers extant of each issue. An extended quote from the Fuljenz-Winter book on this series illustrates this point: "As to how many were actually struck and how rare they are today, guesses are aplenty and facts are scarce. The authors estimate that perhaps 40 to 60 are known, this based upon the historical record and considered opinion. If you like number games, contemplate that just 20 certifications (17 today) have been done for the 1875 $3 as compared to 69 (85 today) for the 1876, and you can conclude that whatever the rarity of the 1875 may be (also a guessing game), the 1876 is nearly four times more plentiful. However, in the real world that is not the case." That last sentence is the key to understanding the 1876 three dollar as well as a great many other 19th century gold rarities. The reason that the numbers game does not play out in the real world has to do with the absolute as well as relative dollars represented by gold rarities today. The relative value of this coin to a well-heeled collector from a hundred years ago represents less of a total investment in his collection than this same coin represents today. Thus, rare gold coins, especially "trophy coins" such as the 1876 three dollar, tend to turn over at a faster rate today than they did a hundred years ago or even 50 or 60 years ago. The Garrett-Guth Encyclopedia states that the 1876 three dollar was struck at two different times, once in February and totaling 20 coins, and then again in June with another 25 coins produced. Additionally, an unknown number of pieces were also struck at a later date from a different obverse die. It seems one can never really get away from number games and speculation with this issue. Nevertheless, the 1876 is indisputably an absolute rarity, and it is a date that any collector of the three dollar serie
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