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Obverse of 1854 Three Dollars     Reverse of 1854 Three Dollars


1854 THREE DOLLARS

PCGS Nos: 7969, 8017

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 138,618
Proofs: estimated 10

Designer: James Barton Longacre

Diameter: 20.5 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10%

Weight:  77.4 grains (5.02 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) below the wreath on the reverse
     

Images courtesy of David Akers Numismatics, Inc.

Notes:
1854 was the first year of issue for this unusual denomination whose main purpose was to facilitate the purchase of postage stamps (the first-class postal rate at the time was 3).  This first year can actually be considered a separate type because the word DOLLARS on the reverse is much smaller than in all subsequent years.

Circulation strikes are common and Uncirculated examples are readily available.  The most common Mint State grade is MS-62.  Gems are rare, although a couple of stellar grades have been assigned by the grading services.  The finest example graded by PCGS is a single MS-68.

Proofs are extremely rare, with less than ten examples known to exist.  PCGS has certified only two Proofs -- one in PR-62 and another in PR-63.

The finest Cameo Proof examples graded by PCGS are 2 PR-64's.

Significant examples:
"Proof" (illustrated above).  Ex - Pittman collection

PCGS MS-68.  Ex - Sotheby's sale of the John Moores collection, November 1999, Lot 74, sold for $57,750.00

PCGS MS-67 (illustrated above).  The Great Lakes collection of Three-Dollar gold pieces.

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-66.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 684, illustrated, sold for $39,100.00

PCGS MS-66.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries "The Rarities Sale", July 31, 2002, Lot 750, illustrated, sold for $14,95.00

NGC MS-63.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc. "The Pre-Long Beach Auction", January 25-28, 2004, Lot 3210, illustrated, bought back by the consignor for $5,175.00

PCGS MS-63.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 810, sold for $4,600.00

PCGS MS-63.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 811, sold for $3,335.00

Choice About Uncirculated and just bordering on the Mint State category.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 1706, not plated, sold for $977.50

NGC Proof-62.  Ex - Superior Galleries "Pre-Long Beach" Elite Coin Auction, May 25- 27, Lot 3628, sold for $51,750.00

NGC MS-62.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 685, illustrated, sold for $2,530.00

MS-62.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 263, illustrated, sold for $2,530.00  Purchased from Superior, March, 1978

NGC MS-61.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2287, sold for $1,840.00

Brilliant Uncirculated. Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 1072, plated, sold for $1,610.00

Brilliant Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 1073, plated, sold for $1,495.00

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 7189, not illustrated, sold for $862.50

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2288, sold for $977.50

AU-58.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 264, illustrated, sold for $1,495.00  From Quality Sales Corporation's offering of the John Beck Collection, January 1975, Lot 206

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part III", May 21, 2001, Lot 199, illustrated, sold for $977.50

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part III", May 21, 2001, Lot 200, illustrated, not sold

AU-58.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 1254, illustrated, sold for $977.50

AU-55.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2289, sold for $690.00

NGC AU-53.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 812, sold for $747.00

AU-50.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2290, sold for $644.00

AU-50.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2291, sold for $552.00

AU-50.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 91, sold for $920.00

Choice AU.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 1074, not plated, sold for $1,495.00

About Uncirculated in terms of detail, lustrous.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 1707, not plated, sold for $201.25

About Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 1075, not plated, unsold

AU.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 1076, not plated, sold for $718.75

AU.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 1077, not plated, sold for $805.00

AU.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 1078, not plated, sold for $747.50

AU/EF.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 1079, not plated, sold for $690.00

NGC EF-45.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2292, sold for $546.25

EF-45.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1325, illustrated, sold for $805.00

EF-45.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1324, not illustrated, sold for $661.00

EF-40.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 92, sold for $632.50

Ef-40.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1326, not illustrated, sold for $776.00

Net EF-40, sharpness of AU-50, cleaned.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 93, sold for $506.00

Extremely Fine.  Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 1522, sold for $333.50

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service