Ron Guth: The 1861 Three Cent Silver has the highest mintage of any date in the 1860s, but this is a relative term, since the 1852 (the most common date in the series) has a mintage that is 375 times that of the 1861. This disparate relationship does not translate to the PCGS Population Report, where the census of the 1852 is only twice that of the 1861, but this is due to the fact that most circulated examples never make it to the grading services.
The PCGS Condition Census contains a full complement of MS67 examples, meaning that collectors can find some wonderful examples on the market. The 1861 usually comes well struck, seldom with clashmarks, and often with rich, frosty luster. For type purposes, this is a great date, and one that offers excellent value.
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