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Description

Gorgeous PR66 Cameo 1889 Three Dollar
End-of-Series Condition Rarity

1889 $3 PR66 Cameo PCGS. Two denominations were last produced in 1889 and terminated by law in 1890, the three cent nickel and the three dollar gold. The last commercially relevant mintage of the nickel coins was in 1881, and for the gold, 1878. While the three dollar gold never fell to the same depths as the three cent nickel, which experienced the indignity of issues with tiny business strikes that were smaller than the same year's proof output, the end of the gold denomination was still ignoble.
Just 2,300 business strikes were produced for 1889, and the accompanying proof mintage amounted to just 129 specimens. Both figures were a steep decline from the previous year's tallies; in the case of the proofs, 291 pieces were struck in 1888, but just 129 such coins were made for 1889. The difference cannot be explained in terms of overminting and melting, either; the number of certification events is remarkably close to the mintage in both cases. Why the drop? Garrett and Guth suggest that "Either the collectors had no clue that this was the last year of the denomination, or the did not care..."
This is a remarkably well-preserved and attractively contrasted representative of the final proof three dollar gold issue. Yellow-gold luster occasionally pales, and when the strongly mirrored fields are tilted out of the light, the sparkling of the frost creates remarkable contrast. Planchet flaws at the tip of the bust and below the trailing hair supply pedigree markers for the future. Extremely rare this fine. Population: 3 in 66 Cameo, 0 finer (11/11).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28AY, PCGS# 88053)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
January, 2012
3rd-8th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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Page Views: 493

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