1854-D Three Dollar, AU58
1854-D $3 AU58 NGC. Variety 1-A. It appears that U.S. Mint
and Treasury officials had high hopes for the three dollar gold
coin denomination, which made its debut in 1854.
Bright, Top-Notch Example
Mintage of 1,120 Coins
Those hopes faded quickly.
The Philadelphia Mint made an ambitious production of 138,618 coins for the premiere, a record that would go unchallenged through the three-and-a-half decades of the series' subsequent coinage.
In all, four mints, three during the opening year, made the denomination, also including Dahlonega, New Orleans, and San Francisco late to the party, striking its first coins in 1855.
Some numismatists have theorized that the three dollar gold was useful for purchasing 100-stamp sheets of three-cent postage stamps.
The logic of requiring a three dollar coin for such a purpose, as opposed to, say, a quarter eagle and a half dollar, or six half dollars, has always escaped us.
The little Dahlonega Mint in North Georgia even entered the fray in 1854, striking a meager 1,120 pieces of the opening D-mint issue. Dahlonega was a fitting participant, as it (and its sister Charlotte) were accustomed to striking the smaller U.S. gold coins, excluding eagles and double eagles.
The present near-Mint State NGC-graded piece is in the second tier of the Condition Census, as few true Mint State examples survive. The surfaces are bright and satiny greenish-gold with orange overtones. A couple of stray marks are well within the grade context, and the overall eye appeal is top-notch for this high-end rarity. Census: 24 in 58, 9 finer (12/13).
Ex: Central States Bullet Sale (Heritage, 3/2000), lot 421.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 25M4, PCGS# 7970)
Weight: 5.02 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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