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    1854-D Three Dollar Gold, MS60
    Few Known in Mint State
    A Magnificent Dahlonega Rarity

    1854-D $3 MS60 NGC. Variety 1-A. "I have seen several AU pieces but never an unequivocally mint state one. Even strictly graded EF specimens are very rare." -- David Akers (1976).

    The 1854-D three dollar gold has a decades-long history of great rarity. Catalogers in the 1960s noted how seldom complete three dollar gold sets appeared at auction, and the rarity of the 1854-D was the biggest prohibition of such sets being completed. The Dahlonega Mint struck only 1,120 three dollar gold pieces in 1854. Those coins circulated extensively, and survivors escaped attrition primarily by chance.

    David Akers was not the first numismatic scholar to note the extreme rarity of this date in Uncirculated condition, although his analysis paints a picture of how the numismatic market viewed the 1854-D in Mint State prior to the dawn of third party grading. Akers recorded only four auction appearances of an Uncirculated 1854-D up to that time, the earliest of which was the specimen in the World's Greatest Collection (Kosoff, 1/1946), which realized $110, exceeding its pre-auction estimate.

    Third party grading has established the rarity of the 1854-D in Mint State, but it has also created a problem with inflated population figures. In Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint, third edition, Doug Winter writes:

    "As of the middle of 2013, PCGS had graded one in MS60, two in MS61, and one in MS62 for a total of four in Uncirculated. NGC had graded three in MS60, five in MS61, and one in MS62 for a total of nine in Uncirculated. These figures are inflated by resubmissions."

    Those certification figures remain unchanged today (11/19).

    Winter lists only four Uncirculated coins in his list of Significant Pieces Known, although the present coin is not included in that census. Housed in an older NGC slab, this coin has not been seen at auction in nearly two decades. Typical of the 1854-D, this coin is weakly struck around the border dentils, with portions of the rim appearing fully flat. Meanwhile, the central devices are boldly rendered. Satiny surfaces yield peach-gold coloration with luster in the fields. A couple of tiny hits on the reverse about 9 o'clock -- one on the wreath and one in the adjacent field -- serve as pedigree markers for this piece. We have not handled a Mint State 1854-D since 2012. We encourage collectors to come prepared to bid aggressively for this lot, as it is a truly rare opportunity for specialists from several numismatic pursuits. Census: 3 in 60, 6 finer (11/19).
    Ex: Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 6/2000), lot 2162.
    From The Hayden Collection. (Registry values: N10218) (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.

    View all of [The Hayden Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 328

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