David Akers (1975/88): This is the last year of issue for three dollar gold pieces and therefore, despite the low mintage, one might naturally expect that a sizable number of choice examples exist that were saved as momentos of a disappearing denomination. To be sure, there are some choice examples that were saved, but the 1889 is certainly more difficult to obtain in choice condition than the 1879, 1880, or 1882. Of course, it is also much more scarce in any condition than either the 1887 or 1888. The majority of the choice uncirculated 1889's that I have seen have been frosty or at most partially proof-like. I have seen several fully proof-like 1889's, but do not feel that they would be mistaken for proofs since they lack a proof's depth of field and characteristic orange peel surface.
Richard C. Jewell Collection - American Numismatic Rarities 3/2005:660, $62,100
Stack's/Bowers 3/2013:2157, $38,188
Great Lakes Collection - Hanks & Associates, sold privately as an entire collection in 10/2005 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack's/Bowers & Sotheby's 2/2016:3131, $18,800