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    Extremely Rare and Desirable Uncirculated 1854-D Three Dollar Gold Piece Graded MS by PCGS

    1854-D $3 MS61 PCGS. Variety 1-A. (per Doug Winter's second edition and revised attribution system). There is just a single variety known. Intermediate die state with the obverse clashmark at the throat now clear and the reverse almost fully clashed.

    RARITY INFORMATION: Just 1,120 examples were produced. It is likely that a number of these were saved as curiosities or souvenirs as approximately 10% of the original mintage is known today--an exceptional high percentage for a branch mint gold coin from this era. The 1854-D three dollar gold piece is most often seen in the XF40 to AU50 range. It is rare in properly graded AU55, very rare in AU58 and extremely rare in Uncirculated. We are aware of two to four Mint State coins. The best we have ever seen is in the Harry Bass reference collection and it is currently housed in the ANA museum in Colorado Springs. There is a PCGS MS62 in the Great Lakes Collection that realized $74,800 in the Superior January 1996 sale.

    PCGS has graded just three Uncirculated 1854-D threes as of November 2003: the MS62 referenced above, the MS61 in this collection and an MS60. Demand level for this popular one-year type has soared in the past year and we anticipate that this will be among the more hotly-contested lots in the entire Green Pond Collection sale.

    STRIKE: The 1854-D three dollar has a very distinctive strike that is seen on nearly every known example. On this coin, the obverse denticles are indistinct from 7 to 3 o'clock. The U in UNITED is slightly weak but is clearer than usual while the curls below IBE in LIBERTY are not fully brought up. The reverse denticles are indistinct from 8 to 3 o'clock while the center is much sharper than seen on many examples. The date and mintmark are very sharp. The overall quality of strike seen on this coin is slightly above average.

    SURFACES: Most examples have numerous detracting marks on the surfaces. This piece is actually quite clean. There are some light, scattered hairlines (not from cleaning) and a small, nearly-circular lintmark on the middle of Liberty's cheek. A touch of light haziness is present on both sides.

    LUSTER: This coin is very lustrous. The texture is a blend of mint frosty and semi-graininess and is far above average for this issue.

    COLORATION: Some medium orange-gold hues can be seen on both the obverse and the reverse. It has become extremely hard to find an 1854-D three dollar gold piece with good color as most have been dipped or processed in recent years.

    EYE APPEAL: This is an attractive example of this charismatic, popular issue. It is lustrous and well detailed with good surfaces.

    COMPARABLES: In the Kingswood March 2001 auction, a PCGS MS60 offered as lot 438 sold for $46,675. This same coin had been previously offered as lot 658 in the Stack's October 1999 sale and it realized $52,900.

    PEDIGREE: Obtained privately from Robert Hughes in 2001. This is the plate coin in the second edition of the Winter book on Dahlonega gold. It is listed in the current Condition Census and it is among the four or five finest known 1854-D three dollar gold pieces. (#7970) (Registry values: P5, N55000) (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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    Auction Dates
    January, 2004
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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