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Seldom-Seen Gem 1857 Three Dollar
Scarce Variety, Missing Part of Obverse I's

1857 $3 MS65 NGC. CAC. The antebellum production figure for the 1857 three dollar gold issue was 20,891 pieces, but issues from early in the series appear not to have been saved in any significant way, and the few collectors of the time preferred proofs to business strikes. Bowers wrote in his 2005 series reference that only 45 to 60 Mint State coin survive today, although changing grading standards may make that estimate outdated. PCGS shows 65 submissions in all Mint State grades, while NGC shows 106 grading events -- but both figures are certainly rife with duplications.
The present piece in Gem condition and certified by NGC is certainly among the few finest survivors of this issue, the sole NGC example in this grade and surpassed by a single MS66 NGC coin. The finest at PCGS are one each in MS65 and MS65+ (11/12). This orange-gold piece is remarkably free of even small signs of contact, and the minor strike softness that appears on the hair at the ear is typical for the issue. Generous luster liberally coats both sides with orange-gold coloration accented by deeper glints of amber near the rims. Note that this piece is a rare variety as well, missing the upper-left serifs on the I's in UNITED and AMERICA on the obverse, and the date on the reverse is higher. Bowers notes that "this variety is much scarcer" than the variety with normal legends. More importantly, this Gem appears to be the finest example we have offered at auction since 1998. Astute collectors will act accordingly. Census: 1 in 65, 1 finer (11/12).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 7K5G, PCGS# 7976)

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Auction Dates
January, 2013
9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 428

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