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    Description

    1878 Three Dollar Gold, MS67+
    Outstanding 19th Century Type Coin
    Registry Set Essential

    1878 $3 MS67+ PCGS. The 1878 three dollar gold piece boasts the second-highest business-strike mintage of the series, at 82,304 pieces. The background for this large production total is interesting, from an economic point of view. The U.S. government planned to resume specie payments in 1879. For the first time since the early days of the Civil War, it would be possible to exchange gold coins at par with paper money. Anticipating a great demand for small-denomination gold coinage, the Mint produced larger than normal totals of quarter eagles and half eagles in 1878, along with the landmark mintage of three dollar coins.

    While the Mint's attempt to be proactive was commendable, it was ultimately unnecessary, as no great demand for gold coins developed. It seems the majority of the population, those living outside the Western portion of the country, had become accustomed to using the more convenient paper money over the preceding two decades. When they realized they could exchange the bills for gold at any convenient time, they had no desire to do so. Many coins distributed to banks remained stored in the vaults for years, until numismatic interest in three dollar gold pieces developed after the denomination was cancelled in 1889. Dealers like Thomas Elder made a market in three dollar gold coins in the early 20th century, when many small hoards surfaced. Today, the 1878 is the most available three dollar gold piece in high grade, and a favorite choice of type collectors.

    The present coin is a magnificent Plus-graded Superb Gem, one of the finest specimens seen at either of the leading grading services. The impeccably preserved yellow-gold surfaces show a few hints of teal blue, with vibrant satiny mint luster on both sides. The design elements are boldly rendered and the overall presentation is outstanding. This coin is tied with one other specimen for finest certified at PCGS (7/16). How it compares to the three MS67 ★ examples at NGC is hard to determine, but it is difficult to imagine a coin with better eye appeal than this piece. This coin should be the centerpiece of the finest collection or Registry Set.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 25MZ, PCGS# 8000)

    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
    August, 2016
    10th-14th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 24
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