Proof-Only 1875 Three Dollar Gold PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC

    1875 $3 PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC. Breen-6386. In most gold series, the 1875 is a major rarity. For the gold dollar, only 400 business strikes and 20 proofs were struck. The 1875 quarter eagle has an identical pair of mintages. The 1875 three dollar is a proof-only issue. The half eagle and eagle have proof mintages of 20 pieces each, and business strike mintages of just 200 and 100 pieces, respectively. Only the 1875 double eagle was struck in reasonable quantities, and despite containing nearly an ounce of gold, it is the most affordable Philadelphia Mint gold product from the year. Why were so few gold coins struck at Philadelphia in 1875? The reason was Gresham's Law. Federal paper money could not be redeemed for specie. Paper money circulated, and gold was hoarded. Gold coin was needed to make export payments, but this demand was met by the double eagle, the largest gold denomination and the most convenient for trade purposes.
    The 1875 is a key to all gold series from the dollar to the ten dollar, but it is particularly difficult for three dollar gold collectors. That is because no business strikes were produced, and collectors who need the date must compete for one of the survivors from the original proof mintage. Breen believed there were two proof productions for the 1875, originals and restrikes, both of which he lists as "Very Rare." Breen identified the restrikes by "prominent rust marks" on the OL in DOLLAR. There is no indication of die rust on the present piece, which must be an original, particularly since it meets Breen's diagnostic of a die line near the denticles above the two right maple leaves. This beautiful specimen is well struck aside from the usual minor roughness on the wreath knot. The frosty devices provide pleasing contrast with the prominently reflective fields. Thorough inspection locates a couple of unimportant marks on the field near the profile, but the appearance is splendid for the PR64 level. The importance of this opportunity for the three dollar specialist cannot be overemphasized.
    From The Blowing Rock Collection, Part Two.(Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# 28AH, PCGS# 98039)

    Weight: 5.02 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Blowing Rock Collection, Part Two ]

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    January, 2007
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