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    Rare 1873 Open 3 Proof Three-Dollar Gold

    1873 Open 3 PR 63 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 only the second example we have handled in the past few years. A numismatic prize from the Papke Estate.
    Ex: Grant Pierce & Sons (Stack's, 5/65), lot 1260; Charles Jay (Stack's, 10/67), lot 285; earlier from the Russell H. Renz Sale by Mehl in 1948.

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

    Weight: 5.02 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 1996
    14th-17th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 259
    Sold on Aug 16, 1996 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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