1873 $3 Closed 3 MS61 NGC. Ex: Browning. The 1873 is a seldom-found key date in the three dollar gold series. Most pieces e...
Original 1873 Closed 3 Three Dollar MS611873 $3 Closed 3 MS61 NGC. Ex: Browning. The 1873 is a seldom-found key date in the three dollar gold series. Most pieces encountered are in XF or AU grade. Mint State coins are infrequently offered. Both proofs and business strikes are found in the Closed 3 and Open 3 varieties, with most circulation strikes Closed 3s and most proofs Open 3s. No reliable mintage figures exist. Mint records enumerate 25 proof coins, with no mention of business strikes at all. This has led to speculation over whether some coins might be restrikes. Bowers' three dollar gold reference conjectures that 600 to 900 Closed 3 business strikes were issued, probably early in the year, with the Open 3 issues made later in 1873. Others believe the Open 3s were made at a later date. The legendary B. Max Mehl had earlier commented: "According to Mint records, only 25 pieces were struck. This, however, I do not believe is correct as a larger number was undoubtedly struck. However, it is of great rarity."
This coin previously sold in the 2001 Sotheby's-Stack's "Dallas Bank" Collection sale (10/01), where the cataloger described it as: "BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED, with claims to a slightly higher grade. A very lovely, fully prooflike example of this rare issue. The devices are pleasingly frosted against bright and reflective fields. An original (struck from flat, not dished, dies), with no important handling marks requiring individual mention." To this we would add mention only of the beautiful golden-yellow surfaces and the piece's complete originality and enormous eye appeal. The population data confirm the rarity of this piece in Mint State. NGC has certified only four coins at NGC as MS61, with six finer (including three Prooflikes), while PCGS has graded five MS61 pieces, with three finer (6/06), undoubtedly including resubmissions. As an 1876 proof three dollar coin, graded PR61 sold recently in a Bowers and Merena auction for close to $40,000--a rare coin, but one with perhaps five times as many pieces existing as this example--it is a certainty that this rare and coveted piece should see spirited and intense bidding.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 25MW, PCGS# 7995)
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