Brilliant Gem 1874 Three Dollar Gold1874 $3 MS65 NGC. A seldom-seen grade for this popular type coin, one of the three usually selected for that purpose along with the 1854 (technically a distinct subtype due to the smaller denomination) and the 1878. It is worth noting, however, that of the three issues, the mintage of the 1874 is only about half that of the 1878 and about one-third that of the 1854.
In Gem condition, the comparisons are even more stark: This 1874 is one of only 13 so certified at NGC, with a single piece finer. The 1854 in Gem condition has 11 at NGC, with two finer--while the 1878 has well over a hundred Gems at NGC, with several dozen in MS66 and MS67 combined. So calling this issue a "type coin" at the Gem level underestimates its rarity and importance.
Aesthetically it is equally desirable, with brilliant, satiny yellow-gold luster. A single tick on the Indian's cheek is perhaps all that precludes an even finer grade, as the surfaces elsewhere are essentially pristine, and the strike is bold throughout. Census: 13 in 65, 1 finer (11/09).
Ex: Exclusively Internet Auction (Heritage, 9/2003), lot 14272, which brought $8,912.50.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 7KDE, PCGS# 7998)
Weight: 5.02 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
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