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Gem Proof 1854 Three Cent Silver
The Magnificent Garrett Specimen

1854 3CS PR65 NGC. The three cent silver pieces of 1854 mark a "treble transition" for the denomination. Not only were such coins made of 90% silver rather than the 75% silver alloy that had ensured the coins would circulate in the pre-1853 monetary environment, the coins underwent design changes on both obverse and reverse. On the obverse, a double outline was placed around the star, while the reverse added an olive branch above and bundled arrows below. This design remained in effect through 1858. The next year, 1859, only a single outline framed the star, and this modified obverse carried through to the end of the series.
Proof Type Two three cent silver coins are notoriously elusive. Only the last issue from 1858 saw regular distribution to collectors, and even that date saw only a couple hundred pieces struck at most. The earlier the year, the more challenging the proof, and the 1854 is at the apex. Very rare at best, the proof 1854 three cent silver has come to Heritage's auction block just eight times in the past two decades, this appearance included.
This Gem specimen formerly was in the Garrett Collection and appeared in the third sale. This cataloger agrees with the description from 1980 of the patina as "iridescent," though "magenta" overstates the reddish-gold element on otherwise blue-green and sage surfaces. A deep dot above the upper right "arm" of the obverse star allows for plate-matching and future identification. Housed in an early-generation "fat" NGC holder with external hologram label.
Ex: 55th Sale (W. Elliot Woodward, 5/1883), possibly part of lot 1454; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins; Garrett III (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1980), lot 1551.
From The Walter Freeman Collection of Three Cent Silvers.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 5JR2, PCGS# 3701)

View all of [The Walter Freeman Collection of Three Cent Silvers ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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