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    1854 Three Cent Silver, Splendid MS68
    Sole Finest Type Two Example at PCGS
    A Coin of Remarkable Quality

    1854 3CS MS68 PCGS. CAC. This splendid 1854 three cent silver is the sole finest of the entire Type Two design certified at PCGS, regardless of date. This piece is a happy confluence of a bold strike, generous luster, and particularly attractive patina combined with zero grade-affecting distractions. The clash marks visible in the fields on each side are virtually a given, completely predictable on this denomination and, in any case, they are not considered in grade determination. The mint luster is thick and frosty, the strike is essentially full, producing full detail in all the peripheral elements -- remarkable in itself. Finally, the patina, consisting of flecks of iridescent cherry, cobalt-blue, mint-green, pale lavender, and amber-gold, is especially attractive, contrasting against light silver-gray areas.

    Population Data (5/14): Sole finest of the date and type at PCGS, with the added CAC bonus. For the entire three cent silver denomination, all three types, PCGS has seen only 14 submissions in MS68 grade, including one MS68+. Two of those MS68s are the Type One, while 11 are the Type Three. But this MS68 1854 is the sole Type Two in this grade at PCGS. The finest 1854s at NGC are three MS67.

    Heritage Commentary: The Type Two three cent silvers, struck only from 1854 to 1858, show two lines bordering the six-pointed star on the obverse. The earlier Type One coins from 1851 through 1853 show no lines around the star, while the later (1859-73) issues had one line.

    This is another standout coin from the Gardner Collection, a coin that might be difficult to value, given the extreme paucity of recent trades at this grade level with CAC approval. The 1854 three cent silvers were struck to the extent of 671,000 pieces, far fewer than the P-mint issues of 1851, 1852, and 1853, which were all in the many millions of coins. The most expensive business strike three cent silver in the Heritage Permanent Auction Archives is an 1869 three graded MS67 NGC from the Walter Freeman Collection that sold in our FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2013), lot 3281, for $41,125. That was an awfully nice coin, but it was one full grade point below this MS68 PCGS piece, and it lacked the CAC approval. We believe this remarkable coin is well-positioned to set a new price record for a three cent silver.

    Provenance: Purchased from Legend Numismatics (6/2009).(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 22Z3, PCGS# 3670)

    Weight: 0.75 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

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

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2014
    23rd Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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