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    Description

    1855-S Three Dollar Gold, MS63
    Rare Branch Mint Issue
    Finest-Certified Example

    1855-S $3 MS63 NGC. Other branch mints (Dahlonega and New Orleans) only struck three dollar gold pieces in 1854, the first year of the denomination, but small mintages continued to be produced at the San Francisco Mint from 1855 through 1857, and again in 1860. The 1855-S three dollar gold piece claims a mintage of just 6,000 pieces, making it the second-rarest of the S-mint threes. The coins were released into circulation at the time of issue and did arduous service in the hard-money economy of the Western United States. Collecting branch mint issues did not become popular in this country until after 1893, when Augustus Heaton published his ground-breaking Treatise on the Coinage of the United States Branch Mints. As a result, few examples of the 1855-S were saved by contemporary collectors and the coin is very rare in high grade today. Writing of the S-mint threes in 1893, Heaton noted:

    "But at San Francisco there were issues in 1855, '56, '57 and '60. All are very rare except the 1856, which, however, is interesting from having two varieties, a large and a small S."


    Heaton's research increased collector interest tremendously, but the S-mint coins had been circulating for decades by then and attrition had claimed the majority of the small mintage. Probably no more than 120-160 examples of the 1855-S are extant in all grades today. In Mint State, PCGS has graded one example in MS61 and another in MS62+, while NGC has certified two specimens in MS61, and this single coin in MS63 (6/17).

    The coin offered here is an impressive Select specimen with sharply detailed design elements in most areas. A touch of softness shows on the hair below BERT, but this is seen on all examples. The Large S is quite bold. The yellow and orange-gold surfaces radiate satiny mint luster and show only scattered, minor contact marks, with outstanding eye appeal. As the finest-certified example of this elusive issue, we expect intense competition from series specialists when this lot is called.
    From The Tribeca Collection. (Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 7K5D, PCGS# 7973)

    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 Tribeca Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    2nd-6th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
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