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    Extremely Rare 1873 Open 3 Three-Dollar/Second Only in Rarity to the Unique 1870-S

    1873 Open 3 PR 64 Cameo NGC. The 1873 Open 3 proof is one of the rarest and least understood of all U.S. gold coins. It has long been believed that originals and restrikes exist of the Open 3 coins, and that all Open 3s were produced later in the calendar year than the Closed 3 pieces. However, it is now generally understood that both Open and Closed 3 pieces were minted in 1873, making the terms "original" and "restrike" meaningless, as restrikes by definition must be struck at some time after the official year of issuance. There are two variants of Open 3 three-dollars. One shows a die scratch from the F in OF to the rim (formerly termed "original" and the die state from which this coin was struck). The other shows a much fainter die scratch, the first S in STATES is filled, and there is evidence of die rust on the reverse.
    It has been estimated that somewhere between 10 and 14 pieces exist today of both die states of Open 3 threes. As such it the second rarest three-dollar gold piece, trailing only the unique 1870-S. This issue is often compared to the 1875, a better known coin. Yet the 1873, both Open and Closed varieties combined, is scarcer by a considerable margin than the 1875. In Akers' survey conducted a number of years ago, the Open 3 1873 appeared for public sale one-fourth as often as the 1875. This is the first example we have handled in many years. The surfaces have a rich golden-orange color, and are free from most of the distractions that can limit the grade and eye appeal of proof gold. The most obvious flaw is the presence of several lint marks, most especially on the reverse, created in the mint by an employee wiping the die with a cloth and static electricity causing lint to adhere to the die or planchet, and subsequently being struck into the coin. The devices are heavily frosted and are starkly contrasted against the deeply mirrored fields. A bit of porosity is noted in the lower left obverse field.
    An extremely rare coin and an opportunity to acquire this key issue in superior condition. Population: 2 in 64 Cameo, none are finer (10/95).

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28AF, PCGS# 8037)

    Weight: 5.02 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 1996
    14th-16th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 279
    Sold on Mar 15, 1996 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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