Ron Guth: The 1881 Three Cent Nickel has an extremely high mintage for an era when mintages of less than 10,000 coins were common. With over 1 million coins minted, the 1881 has the seventh highest mintage of the series. As a result, collectors will have no difficulty locating a nice example of this date at a reasonable price. The typical Mint State grade is MS-64, with a decreasing but fairly equal distribution of grades on either side. On the high end, the finest examples certified by PCGS (as of December 2011) are seven MS-67s.
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