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The $3 gold piece was first issued in 1854, and the series lasted until 1889. While several dates were hoarded to a limited extent, most $3 gold issues are rare in any mint state grade, let alone in MS65 or better. It is a series filled with tiny mintages. In 1883, for instance, only 900 business strikes were made. The mintage for 1881 is 500. In 1885 there were 801 pieces struck. For 1873 the mintage is believed to be 100 coins.
Key dates? There are lots of them, including 1854-D, the only Dahlonega Mint $3 gold piece. PCGS has graded only four examples mint state. Then there’s the 1854-O, the only New Orleans $3 gold piece. PCGS has graded hundreds of specimens, but only two in mint state. For the 1855-S, PCGS has graded two coins mint state. In these three cases, the highest grade is only MS-62!
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