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SERIES: Liberty Head Three Cent Nickels 1865-1889
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1865 3CN (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS67

PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66+
PCGS #:
3731
Diameter:
17.90 millimeters
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Weight:
1.94 grams
Edge:
Plain
Mintage:
11,382,000
Metal Content:
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Auction Record:
$14,950 • PCGS MS67 • 3-1-2009 • Heritage
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 50,000 R-2.5 23 / 23 23 / 23
60 or Better 5,000 R-4.0 23 / 23 23 / 23
65 or Better 500 R-6.0 23 / 23 23 / 23
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
3 MS66+ PCGS grade
4 MS66 PCGS grade
4 MS66 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
3 MS66+ PCGS grade
4 MS66 PCGS grade
4 MS66 PCGS grade  
4 MS66 PCGS grade  
4 MS66 PCGS grade  
4 MS66 PCGS grade  
4 MS66 PCGS grade  
4 MS66 PCGS grade  

Ron Guth: The 1865 Three-Cent Nickel was the first year of a completely new coin type and the first year of a new metal type.  The Philadelphia Mint produced more than 11 million examples of this date, a mintage that had not been seen since 1853, when an almost identical amount of Three-Cent Silver pieces were struck.  The Three-Cent Nickel eventually replaced the Three-Cent Silver, but both types were made continuously up until 1873, after which the Three-Cent Silver was discontinued.

The 1865 is easily the most common of all the Three-Cent Nickels.  PCGS has certified well over 1,000 Mint State examples, with most falling in the MS-63 to MS-64 grade range.  Gem examples are slightly scarce but can be found with relative ease.  Superb examples are very rare, the finest of which are two PCGS MS-67s.  This date is characterized by weak central strikes (look at the lines in the Roman numeral 3 on the reverse) and numerous die cracks.