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SERIES: Indian Princess $3 1854-1889
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1855-S $3, BM (Proof)

PCGS #:
8054
Diameter:
20.50 millimeters
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Weight:
5.02 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
2
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$1,322,500 • NGC SP64 • 8-11-2011 • Heritage
 
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 1 R-10.0 1 / 1 1 / 1
60 or Better 1 R-10.0 1 / 1 1 / 1
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 1 1 / 1
Condition Census (Explain)
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PCGS SP63BM  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PCGS SP63BM  
P. Scott Rubin: The 1855-S coin, graded specimen-63 by PCGS and Proof-64 by NGC is the first Three Dollar Gold coin to exceed the million dollar figure at auction. The coin sold for $1,322,500 in Heritage’s August, 2011 Platinum Night auction. Q. David Bowers in his book The United States $3 Gold Pieces 1854-1889, states that at least two 1855-S Proof coins were struck, one of which went to the Mint Collection. That coin is no longer in the collection and is not known to exist today.

The San Francisco Mint opened in 1854 and produced a Proof Double Eagle that year which was sent to the Mint(Smithsonian) Collection. The following year the San Francisco Mint produced three denominations of Proofs the quarter, the half dollar and the three dollar gold piece. This was an uncommon practice for branch mints but not unique since the New Orleans Mint produced proof half dollars in 1838 and 1839 its first two years of operation.

Until the time when and if the unique 1870-S three dollar gold piece is offered for sale it is likely that the unique 1855-S Proof will remain the most expensive coin in the series.