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    1863 Gold Three Dollar, Semiprooflike MS67
    Showcase-Worthy Rarity

    1863 $3 MS67 NGC. This magnificent 1863 gold three dollar piece is a member of the Condition Census Superb Gems that Bowers and Winter refer to as "showpieces" in the opening comments of their narrative on this issue in The United States $3 Gold Pieces. As few as 30 to 40 examples of this date are believed to survive in Mint State, with a significant portion of these residing in MS62 and lower grades. Examples are rare in MS63 through MS66, and anything finer is the centerpiece of a marquee event when offered at auction. NGC records just three submissions of this date in MS67 (one in MS67 Star), with two MS68 coins finer (one in MS68 Star); PCGS contributes a single MS67 coin and an MS68 piece finer (5/15). Given the inflation of the certified population data for this issue in lower grades, it is conceivable that even these paltry Superb Gem figures include one or more resubmissions.

    The 1863 gold three dollar piece had a scant mintage of 5,000 coins, mirroring the low production totals of most gold denominations for this period. In the East, gold coins generally did not circulate during this period due to economic uncertainties centered on the most pivotal periods of the Civil War. Most examples of the 1863 gold three dollar issue that were absorbed by private hands were either melted for their bullion or tightly hoarded. Remarkably few examples were set aside with care, and today, most known survivors grade in the upper XF to AU range, showing evidence of careless handling.

    Our Permanent Auction Archives show only 24 previous appearances of this issue in any Mint State grade over the past two decades, and only two of these offerings were for an MS67-quality coin. The most recent of these was a die-clashed MS67 PCGS CAC example offered as lot 5386 in our 2014 FUN Signature sale where it garnered $211,500. The present NGC coin is, in some respects, superior to that example - the surface quality is comparable, but this piece is noticeably sharper on the wreath bow and its semiprooflike fields are joyously devoid of clash marks. The latter characteristic is of major importance for this issue, as Bowers and Winter state: "All examples seen by the authors have clash marks on both sides." As if it weren't obvious by the sheer quality of the die impression and the boldness of the motifs, this coin is nothing other than a beautiful early strike, one of the finest known from an aesthetic perspective. Seemingly flawless surfaces display warm wheat-gold luster. With only a few dozen Superb Gem three dollar gold pieces known for the entire series, the importance of this 1863 representative cannot be overstated.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 7K5R, PCGS# 7984)

    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
    July, 2015
    9th-12th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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