1854 $3, CA PR63CA

CERTIFICATION#: 25599492
PCGS#: 88017

Owner's Comments

Expert Comments

Ron Guth: In 1854, the Mint began striking a new gold coin denominated at three dollars.  A letter in the Mint records at the National Archives, dated April 28, 1854, records the transmittal of fifteen "specimens" from Mint Director James Ross Snowden to the Secretary of the Treasury[1].  Most researchers assume the fifteen "specimens" were Proofs, though there is no evidence to confirm that assumption except for the existence of an inordinately large number of Proof Three Dollar gold piece relative to the other gold denominations of the year.  If the fifteen "specimens" were indeed Proofs, then the total mintage for the 1854 Three Dollar gold piece is at least eighteen, as an additional example resides in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and two more pieces appeared in the 1870 sale of Chief Engraver James Barton Longacre's estate.

In 1975, David Akers knew of "perhaps 5 or 6" examples[2].  In 1989, Breen listed six different examples from two die pairs (same obverse(?), different reverses), plus five other potential candidates[3]. 

----------------------------------

[1] Walter Breen, Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins: 1722-1789 (Wolfeboro, NH:Bowers & Merena Galleries, 1989), 98.  Breen cites #136, Letters, Mint & Branches, 1854, Record Group 104, Treasury Section, National Archives; the transmittal date is recorded as April 29 in Q. David Bowers and Doug Winter, The United States $3 Gold Pieces: 1854-1889 (Wolfeboro, NH: American Numismatic Rarities, 2005), 58.

[2] David Akers, United States Gold Coins: An Analysis of Auction Records, Volume 3 (Englewood, OH: Paramount Publications, 1976, 2.

[3] Breen, 98.

Diameter: 20.50 millimeters Designer: James Barton Longacre Edge: Reeded
Mintage: 15 Weight: 5.02 grams Metal Content: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR64+CAM PCGS grade

John Story Jenks - Henry Chapman 12/1921:5782 - John H. Clapp - Louis Eliasberg, Sr. - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:272, $39,600 - Ed Trompeter Collection - Superior 2/1992:96, $44,000.00 - Ohringer Family Trust Holdings - Goldbergs 9/2008:1231, $149,500 - Heritage 1/2012:4815, $138,000 - Stack’s/Bowers 6/2012:4244, not sold

2 PR64CAM PCGS grade  
5 PR63CAM PCGS grade Tom Bender Collection
5 PR63CAM PCGS grade  

Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection - Heritage 1/2007:3121, $74,750 - Goldbergs 2/2008:2340, $97,750 - Goldbergs 9/2009:3346, $66,125 - Heritage 1/2010:2144, not sold - Heritage 8/2010:3461, not sold - Heritage 8/2012:5329, $64,625

7 PR63CAM estimated grade